40% to 80% Yield loss

3.3 million USD is the approximate loss is due to weeds in Wheat field in India - Recent studies carried out by ICAR.

The wheat crop suffers badly due to heavy weed infestation. It  has been estimated that losses due to weeds ranging from 40% to 80% in wheat crop depending upon their intensity. Among weeds,  Phalaris Minor is the single most dominant grassy weed in  northern Indian plains causing significant yield losses.



Phalaris Minor has become the most troublesome weed  in wheat. In the entire north-west Indian belt, where rice – wheat and rice-cotton cropping system is being followed, the presence of this weed has been noticed.



How is Phalaris Minor spreading in Wheat geographies?


Contamination through irrigation


Contamination by equipment


Use of contaminated seed


Factors that accelerate development of resistance

Herbicide is sprayed in the field

Resistant plant survives and sets seed

Herbicide is used on weeds with more resistant

Eventually, majority of weeds become resistant

How to identify your enemy?
Phalaris minor

Auricle is present

Ligule is approximately 3 times larger than wheat

Leaf colour is light green

Tillering is rossate type

Basal nodes are pink in colour

Wheat crop

Auricle is Absent

Ligule is smaller in size

Leaf colour is dark green

Tillering is erect & straight

Basal nodes are greenish in colour

Integrated approach is the way ahead​​



Dr. Makhan Singh Bhullar

Department of Agriculture - PAU Ludhiana

Gulli Danda is the most serious weed in wheat fields. Continuous use of herbicides,

having similar mode of action, has resulted in the evolution of resistance in this weed

against commonly used herbicides. The solution to this problem lies in the adoption of

integrated approach involving combined use of herbicides and cultural practices.

particularly in fields where no herbicides is providing satisfactory results. Given below

are cultural practices, herbicides and their spray technology which if used collectively

would solve the problem of gulli danda in wheat.

Let surface soil dry up before sowing:  Gulli Danda seeds need higher moisture for

germination and Its seeds germinate best from surface soil .

Sowing wheat with Happy Seeder: Sowing of wheat directly with Happy Seeder.

Stage of weed plants: Spray herbicide on weed plants are in 2 to 3 leaf stages.

Herbicide dose: Always use recommended dose of herbicide.

Selection of herbicide: The solution to this problem lies in the adoption of integrated

approach, involving combined use of herbicides and cultural practices, particularly in

fields where no herbicides is providing satisfactory results. Selection of the herbicide

must be based on the herbicide use history of a field.

Herbicide rotation: Continuous use of same herbicide or herbicides having similar

modes of action results in evolution of herbicide resistance weeds.



Dr. Rajandar Singh Chhokar

IIWBR - Karnal, Haryana

Littleseed canary grass (Phalaris Minor) locally known as kanki/mandus/gulli danda is

the most troublesome winter annual grass weed of wheat in the rice-wheat helt of

North Western India. The extent of crop loss caused by Phalaris Minor varies from 10

to 100 per cent. In many areas of Haryana and Punjab infestation of this weed may be

anywhere between 2000 to 3000 plants/mand farmers are forced to harvest their

green wheat crop as fodder. Development of multiple herbicide resistance that became

very common during the last 3-4 years is causing significant yield reductions in the

rice-wheat system.

Weed Management Practices:

Cultural and Preventive

  1. Use clean wheat seed that is free farm weed seeds
  2. Pull out Phalaris Minor before seed setting and it can be used as fodder
  3. Keep bunds and channels free
  4. Go in for early sowing of wheat (last week of October)
  5. Adopt closer row spacing or criss-cross sowing to increase population of the wheat plants
  6. Tillage also plays pivotal role in managing Phalaris minor successfully

Chemical Control:

Chemical weed control is preferred because of less labour involvement and no

mechanical damage to the crop that happens during manual weeding Moreover, the

control is more effective as the weeds even within the rows are killed, which, invariably

escape, because of morphological similarity wheat during mechanical control.

Integrated weed management technique

Happy Seeder

A machine called the “Happy Seeder” has been developed in the last few years that can plant the Wheat seed without getting jammed. The Happy Seeder is a tractor- mounted machine that cuts and lifts straw, sows Wheat into the bare soil and deposits the straw over the sown area as mulch. Since ages the belief has been that the more you till your land, the better yields you get. But this is not always true. Happy Seeder for zero tilling helps farmers sow without having to till their land. The key feature of the machine is that it helps sowing Wheat in a line and whole fields can be sown in one go. The machine has nine to twelve tyres. It can sow in unprepared land, where it sows seeds in a line making a small insertion in the soil of about 3-5 cm. It can sow one acre of land in one hour. If Wheat is planted in an untilled land, it helps in saving the time, fuel and labour cost. There is minimum weed infestation if sowing has been done with happy Seeder.

Zero Tillage

Zero Tillage is an extreme form of minimum tillage. In zero tillage herbicide functions are extended before sowing the vegetation present has to be destroyed for broad spectrum herbicide. Zero Tillage means No-till farming (also called zero tillage or direct drilling) is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage. No-till is an agricultural technique which increases the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil and increases organic matter retention and cycling of nutrients in the soil. Zero tillage reduces labour cost, saves time, saves fuel. Improves soil tilth, Less weed problem due to less soil disturbance, reduce pollution, higher grain yield, high soil moisture content due to both improved soil structure and the decrease in evaporation due to the crop residue mulch.

A New Approach for integrated weed management

For farmers to assess the risk of developing herbicide resistance they need to evaluate their farming practices as well as the biology and herbicide susceptibility of their target weeds. The table provides a checklist of resistance risk factors and can rank rank the risk of resistance evolution from LOW to HIGH

Know more on resistance management.

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