Sweet corn is traditionally grown by mechanical cultivation in order to reduce the weed problems. The growing season is pretty fast and hence herbicides are generally not used. However, if the weeds become quite overwhelming or difficult to manage, herbicides may become necessary. Generally, herbicides are registered for field corn and not sweet corn.
Weed control is essential for sweet corn as they can delay the maturing of crops. They can interfere with the yield and also the quality as the weeds take away a considerable amount of water, sunlight and nutrients. They attract pests and disease that can highly hamper the crops.
Sweet corn is generally planted in rows with sufficient widths between them so that the horses can pull a cultivator and pass through. Over long years of experience, the row-spacing techniques are highly refined to yield high quality and greatest quantity.
Selective herbicides have been used in the last 40 years so that the number of cultivations that is required in a single year is decreased. This has also resulted in the reduced use of natural fossil fuel resources required for the production of sweet corn. Steps are being taken to cut down the effort for cultivation and also the use of herbicides by various effective techniques of production and cultivation.
Herbicides required for sweet corn depends on the time of application -- pre-planting of the corn and pre-emergence or post emergence periods. Pre-planting herbicides are applied even before the sweet corn is planted in the soil. Mostly it is applied in the soil surface. Pre-emergence herbicides are applied before the weeds and sweet corn emerges whereas post emergence herbicides are applied after the growth of weeds and sweet corn.
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