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Cover crops to secure weed control strategies in a maize crop with reduced tillage

Büchi, Lucie; Wendling, Marina; Amosse, Camille; Jeangros, Bernard and Charles, Raphaël (2020) Cover crops to secure weed control strategies in a maize crop with reduced tillage. Field Crops Research, 247, p. 107583.

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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378429019308536


Summary

To better understand the ability of cover crops to control weeds in a maize crop (Zea mays, L.) grown with reduced tillage, four field experiments were set up from 2009 to 2014 in the western part of Switzerland. Ten non-wintering cover crop species were compared to a no cover crop control in strip plot experiments including different weeding strategies. The weeding strategies included no or minimum tillage before maize seeding. Soil coverage by weeds at early maize stage (2–4 leaf stage) varied drastically between weeding strategies and years. In most cases, cover crops allowed to reduce the weed pressure compared to the no cover crop control. The most efficient cover crop species varied from year to year, but niger (Guizotia abyssinica, (L.f.) Cass.), sunflower (Helianthus annuus, L.), field pea (Pisum sativum, L.) and phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia, Benth.) gave the best overall results. Maize yield differed significantly between weeding strategies only one year, with higher yield observed with minimum tillage. In some situation, cover crops cultivated in autumn still showed a significant impact on maize yield, with common vetch (Vicia sativa, L.) as the most successful species. Interestingly, the effect of cover crop on weed cover and maize yield was not limited to the less intense strategy (no tillage). These results show that cultivating cover crops before maize in this type of conditions is a promising method to help controlling weeds. In addition, cover crops are known for providing multiple ecosystem services which could altogether improve the sustainability of cropping systems on the long term.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:No till, Cover crop biomass, Residue cover, Integrated weed management, Abacus, FiBL70902-16005
Agrovoc keywords:
Language
Value
URI
English
weed control
http://aims.fao.org/aos/agrovoc/c_8345
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Soil tillage
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Arable crops
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Composting and fertilizer application > Green manures
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Soil > Tillage > Reduced Tillage
Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Crops > Crop protection > Weed control
DOI:10.1016/j.fcr.2019.107583
Deposited By: Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau, FiBL
ID Code:39159
Deposited On:04 Feb 2021 10:27
Last Modified:04 Feb 2021 10:35
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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