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Combining mechanical rhizome removal and cover crops for Elytrigia repens control in organic barley systems

Melander, Bo; Nørremark, Michael and Kristensen, E.F. (2013) Combining mechanical rhizome removal and cover crops for Elytrigia repens control in organic barley systems. Weed Research, 53 (6), pp. 461-469.

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Summary

Mechanical weed control of perennial weeds in organic crop production over long post-harvest periods is incompatible with the establishment of cover crops for improving soil quality and preventing nutrient leaching. We suggest a new concept that comprises uprooting and immediate removal of vegetative propagules located within the plough layer to allow for quick re-establishment of a plant cover. A field experiment comparing the effects of conventional practices (stubble cultivation) with different combinations of rotary cultivation (1, 2 or 4 passes) and cover crops (none vs rye-vetch-mustard mixture) on Elytrigia repens rhizome removal, shoot growth and suppression of a subsequent barley crop were examined in two growing seasons. Four passes with a modified rotary cultivator where each pass was followed by rhizome removal reduced E. repens shoot growth in barley by 84 and 97%. In general, the cover crop developed poorly and did not affect barley or E. repens. Barley yield was only affected by treatments in the first season, where yield was negatively correlated with E. repens shoot biomass. The concept has potential for the control of severe E. repens infestations but future research aimed at identifying more effective smother crops and less intensive methods of rhizome removal is needed.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects: Crop husbandry
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > WEEDS - Control of weeds in organic cropping
Denmark > Organic RDD 1 > HighCrop
Deposited By: Bo Melander, Senior Scientist
ID Code:25676
Deposited On:24 Apr 2014 08:43
Last Modified:06 May 2014 14:39
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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