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The production of groundnut (Arachis hypogea L.) is limited by high weed infestation causing high yield losses in Nigeria. Field trials were, therefore, conducted to evaluate the effect of intra-row spacing and weed control methods on growth and yield of groundnut at the Teaching and Research Farm of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta in the forest-savannah transition zone of South west Nigeria during the cropping seasons of 2008 and 2009. Two intra-row spacings (15 and 25 cm) were evaluated which constituted the main plot treatments, while five weed control treatments (pre-emergence application of commercial formulation of metolachlor + prometryne (Codal) at 1.6 kg a.i/ha alone and the same treatment followed by supplementary hoe-weeding (SHW) at 6 weeks after sowing (WAS) and at 2.4 kg a.i/ha, 2 hoe-weedings at 3 and 6 WAS and weedy checks where weeds were not removed throughout the crop life cycle. All the treatments in different combinations were arranged in a split- plot design with four replicates. Intra-row spacing of 15 cm resulted in significant reduction in weed growth compared to the intra row spacing of 25 cm as reflected in weed cover score, and dry weights at 9 and 12 WAS as well as cumulative weed dry matter production in both years. In addition, inter-row spacing of 50 cm caused significant improvement in crop growth as reflected in the crop vigour score, canopy height and canopy diameter and number of root nodules, with subsequent increase in pod yield per hectares. Similarly, All the weed control treatments caused significant reduction in weed cover score at 9 and 12 WAS, weed dry weights at 6, 9 and 12 WAS and cumulative weed dry matter production compared to the weedy check in both years The most effective treatments were the combination of intra-row spacing of 15 cm and the use of pre-emergence application of metolachlor + prometryne at 1.6 kg a.i./ha followed by one supplementary hoe-weeding at 6 WAS. Such treatments had effective weed control with consequent high groundnut pod yield comparable to those of two hoe-weedings. In this study, unchecked weed growth throughout the crop life cycle resulted in about 75.4 and 82.6% reductions in potential yield of groundnut in 2008 and 2009 seasons. Intra-row spacing of 15 cm and pre-emergence application of metolachlor + prometryn at 1.6 kg a.i/ha followed by supplementary hoe weeding at 6 WAS is therefore recommended for weed control alternative to frequent hoe weedings to can cut down on labour input particularly where labour is limiting and land under cultivation is large.
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