Soybean control and grass suppression in maize with Brachiaria ruziziensis intercropped

ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to evaluate the best dose of atrazine in soybean control in winter maize intercropped with Brachiaria ruziziensis (B. ruziziensis), as well as its interaction with different doses of nicosulfuron, in a way as not to affect the benefits of farming-pasture integration. Two bioassays were made, the first one with six doses of atrazine (0.0, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0, 1.2, and 1.4 kga.i. ha-1). Evaluations were performed 15 and 30 days after application, based on the percentage of soybean plants control, number of plants of B. ruziziensis, maize grain yield and dry mass of the grass. The second bioassay was conducted in split plot 3 (doses of nicosulfuron) × 2 (with and without atrazine), with two additional witnesses (hand weeded and weeded treatment). Nicosulfuron doses used were 2.0, 4.0 and 6.0 ga.i. ha-1, and atrazine dose used was 0.8 kga.i. ha-1. Increasing doses of atrazine resulted in better soybean plants control and higher maize grain yield. Doses higher than 1.0 kga.i. ha-1 of atrazine resulted in decreased dry mass of the grass. The addition of 0.8 kga.i. ha-1 of atrazine with 2.0, 4.0 and 6.0 ga.i. ha-1 of nicosulfuron increased soybean plants control compared with single doses of nicosulfuron, did not influence the number of plants nor dry mass of the grass and provided increase in maize grain yield.