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Development and validation of indicators for the weed control process in sugarcane plantations

Grant number: 17/24553-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): November 01, 2018
Effective date (End): July 31, 2019
Field of knowledge:Agronomical Sciences - Agronomy - Plant Health
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Pedro Luis da Costa Aguiar Alves
Grantee:Clara Degli Esposti
Home Institution: Faculdade de Ciências Agrárias e Veterinárias (FCAV). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Jaboticabal. Jaboticabal , SP, Brazil

Abstract

One of the most important factors that can adversely affect the productivity and yield of operations in sugarcane cultivation is the coexistence with weed communities for periods that go beyond what the crop can withstand. To limit this coexistence, the application of chemical herbicides is made due to its efficiency and practicality. However, there must be a balance between level of weed control and intensity of herbicide use. The first step in identifying this point of equilibrium is to develop numerical indicators for this process so that one can have the size of the current situation of different weeds in relation to weeds, compare units and obtain banckmarks, correlate the different mills with investment and productivity levels of sugarcane, set goals for improvement or maintenance of results as well as follow the path towards established goals. in turn, must be obtained by means of periodical diagnoses of the crop. In order for these indicators to be used to compare different units, the method must be elaborated, standardized and validated in relation to the representativeness of the sample in relation to the whole. It is worth remembering that the accuracy of the method does not need to be scientifically rigorous, but must present the minimum of reliability for adoption in production units. Therefore, this research aims to propose a methodology to diagnose infestation of weeds in the epoch before the beginning of the harvest in sugar and alcohol plants, to determine a minimum and balanced sampling according to the geographic distribution of sugarcane, proportion of different environments production, age distribution of cane fields, among other factors. It also aims to develop and propose indicators considering the degree of importance of the different species that occur in the sugarcane crop and the impact of their inadequate control. Therefore, this research is carried out in three sugar and alcohol plants located in the producing region of the State of São Paulo and / or Minas Gerais, not Triângulo Mineiro. The sugar and alcohol plants has its own area around 20,000 to 25,000 ha occupied with sugarcane to be milled within the 2018 harvest. In each mill, a consistent research of three phases: (1) - Sampling Planning; (2) - Evaluation of a field and (3) - Calculation of the indices. The obtained indexes are submitted to the GGE Biplot analysis to evaluate how associations between them and general weed infestation, weed escape and effectiveness of control programs.

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