Chickpea - weed management

Paddock selection and effective application of pre-emergent broadleaf herbicide is critical in chickpea. Those paddocks with a severe broadleaf weed problem should be avoided.

turnip weed seedling - it is important to be able to identify weeds at seedling stage

A turnip weed seedling

Chickpeas are slow to emerge and initially grow slowly. They are notoriously poor competitors with weeds. Even moderate weed infestation can result in severe yield losses and harvesting problems. The best form of weed control is by rotation and careful selection of paddocks largely free from winter weeds, for example double cropped from sorghum or cotton, or country with a sequence of clean winter fallows.

Broadleaf weed control

Broadleaf weed control is very limited in chickpea.

Post-emergent herbicides

Only one herbicide is currently registered for post-emergent use in chickpeas, Broadstrike®, and caution must be taken with its use. Broadstrike gives good control of cruciferous (turnip etc.) but has not activity on sow thistle and prickly lettuce. It can result in significant crop damage and delay harvest. This is clearly stated on the label. It is mainly used in salvage situations and even then should only be applied under good soil moisture.

Pre-emergent herbicides

In the absence of safe post-emergent broadleaf herbicides, control is limited to a few pre-emergent herbicides. Most of these chemical are very dependant on rainfall for activation, hence results are often limited under dry conditions.

It is important that broadleaf populations are considered when selecting a paddock for chickpea production. Broadleaf weeds should be heavily targeted in the proceeding wheat or barley crop or fallow. Paddocks with severe broadleaf weed populations should be avoided.

Herbicides for broadleaf weed control (as of May 2009)
Active Timing of application Rate/ha
Trifluralin (400g/L) PSI** 1.2-1.7 L
Tri-allate (500g/L) PSI** 1.6 L
Metribuzin (480g/L) PSPE** 0.28-0.58 L
Cyanazine (900g/L) PSI/PSPE** 1.7 or 2.2 kg
Pendimethalin (330g/L) PSI** 2-3 L
Isoxaflutole (750g/L) PSPE** 100 g
Simazine (500g/L) PSPE** 1-2 L
Diuron (500g/L) IBS** PSPE** 1.5-2.0L 1.0-1.5L
Prometryn PSPE** 1.5L (+ 1.5L Simazine 500g/L)
Flumetsulam* (800g/kg) PE** 25g
  • *May cause crop yellowing and delay flowering resulting in yield reduction.
  • **PSI - Pre-sowing incorporated
  • **PSPE - Post-sowing pre-emergent
  • **PE - Post-emergent

Note: Prior to use of any herbicide, ensure that it is currently registered for use in chickpeas. Registered labels and current permits can be found on the APVMA website

Post-emergent grass weed control

Control of post-emergent grass weeds is often inconsistent with variable levels of control achieved. This particularly applies to many broadacre situations where marginal rates of Group A herbicides are being used. More reliable and cost-effective control can be achievable if the factors below are considered:

  • Correct weed identification, and match product accordingly
  • Weeds should be controlled when small, preferably at 2-5 leaf stage
  • Spray when weeds are actively growing and free from temperature, water and nutritional stress
  • Ensure boomspray setup is correct and maintain high water volumes to ensure coverage
  • Used the preferred adjuvant listed on the product label

Chickpea rotations provide an opportunity to control wild oats that otherwise was costly in a wheat based system.

Herbicides for grass weed control (as of May 2009)
Active Timing of application Rate/ha
Fluazifop-P (128g/L) PE* 0.41-0.5L
Haloxyfop-R (520g/L) PE* 0.375-0.1L
Butroxydim (250g/kg) PE* 80-180g
Sethoxydim (186/L) PE* 0.5-1.0L
Quizalofop-p-ethyl (99.5g/L) PE* 0.125-0.375L
Clethodim (240g/L) PE* 0.15-0.5L
Propaquizafop (100g/L) PE* 0.2-0.45L
Tepraloxydim (200g/L) PE* 0.175-0.3L
Clethodim (200g/L) + Haloxyfop (48g/L) PE* 0.15-0.2L
Fluzifop-P (212 g/kg) + Butroxydim (250g/kg) PE* 230-320g
Paraquat (135g/L) + Diquat (115g/L) PE* 0.8-2.4L
  • * PE - post-emergent

Note: Prior to use of any herbicide, ensure that it is currently registered for its use in chickpeas. Registered labels and current permits can be found on the APVMA website

Further information

Last updated 26 July 2012