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Soil weed seed bank and factors influencing the number of weeds at the end of conversion period to organic production

Kuht, Jaan; Eremeev, Viacheslav; Talgre, Liina; Madsen, Helena; Toom, Merili; Maeorg, Erkki and Luik, Anne (2016) Soil weed seed bank and factors influencing the number of weeds at the end of conversion period to organic production. Agronomy Research, 14 (4), pp. 1372-1379.

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In 2008 an experiment was set up on the field in Eerika experimental station (Estonian
University of Life Sciences) as a 5-field crop rotation: red clover, winter wheat, pea, potato and
barley undersown with red clover. The objective of the study was to measure the content of weed
seeds in the soil and to evaluate the diversity of the species at the end of the period of converting
to organic production. In conventional farming systems without fertilizer (Conv I) and
conventional farming with mineral fertilizer (Conv II) herbicides were used for weed control. All
the crops in Conv II system received P 25 kg ha-1 and K 95 kg ha-1, but the application rates of
mineral nitrogen fertilizer differed. In organic systems (Org I – organic farming based on winter
cover crop and Org II - organic farming based on winter cover crop and manure), the winter cover
crops (ryegrass after winter wheat, winter oilseed rape after pea, winter rye after potato) were
sown after the harvest and were ploughed into the soil as green manure in spring. The content of
annual weed seeds was the lowest in red clover that had 17.7% less weed seeds in the soil of Org
II system compared to control (Conv I). In winter wheat the content of winter annual weed seeds
was 50–76% higher compared to other crops. By the end of 2009 the content of organic carbon
(Corg %) in the soil had increased significantly in both organic systems which results in higher
activity of organisms that decrease the viability of weed seeds.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:organic farming, soil, weed seeds, seed bank, crop rotation, winter cover crops.
Subjects: Farming Systems
Crop husbandry
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Environmental aspects
Research affiliation: Estonia > Estonian University of Life Sciences
European Union > CORE Organic Plus > FertilCrop
Deposited By: Peetsmann, Ms Elen
ID Code:32504
Deposited On:03 Jan 2018 23:35
Last Modified:03 Jan 2018 23:35
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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