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Weed Interference Impacts and Yield Recovery after Four Years of Variable Crop Inputs in No-Till Barley and Canola

  • K. Neil Harker (a1), John T. O'Donovan (a1), T. Kelly Turkington (a1), Robert E. Blackshaw (a2), Eric N. Johnson (a3), Stu Brandt (a4), H. Randy Kutcher (a5) and George W. Clayton (a2)...

Abstract

A 2-yr (2009 to 2010), no-till (direct-seeded) “follow-up” study was conducted at five western Canada sites to determine weed interference impacts and barley and canola yield recovery after 4 yr of variable crop inputs (seed, fertilizer, herbicide). During the initial period of the study (2005 to 2008), applying fertilizer in the absence of herbicides was often worse than applying no optimal inputs; in the former case, weed biomass levels were at the highest levels (2,788 to 4,294 kg ha−1), possibly due to better utilization of nutrients by the weeds than by the crops. After optimal inputs were restored (standard treatment), most barley and canola plots recovered to optimal yield levels after 1 yr. However, 4 yr with all optimal inputs but herbicides led to only 77% yield recovery for both crops. At most sites, when all inputs were restored for 2 yr, all plots yielded similarly to the standard treatment combination. Yield “recovery” occurred despite high weed biomass levels (> 4,000 kg ha−1) prior to the first recovery year and despite high wild oat seedbank levels (> 7,000 seeds m−2) at the end of the second recovery year. In relatively competitive narrow-row crops such as barley and canola, the negative effects of high soil weed seedbanks can be mitigated if growers facilitate healthy crop canopies with appropriate seed and fertilizer rates in combination with judicious herbicide applications to adequately manage recruited weeds.

Se realizó un estudio de “seguimiento” de 2 años de duración (2009 a 2010), en cero labranza (siembra directa), en cinco localidades del oeste de Canadá para determinar el impacto de la interferencia de malezas y la recuperación del rendimiento de la cebada y la colza después de 4 años de suministros variables de cultivos (semilla, fertilizante, herbicidas). Durante el período inicial del estudio (2005 a 2008), la aplicación de fertilizante en ausencia de herbicidas fue a menudo peor que la aplicación no óptima de insumos; en este caso, los niveles de biomasa de malezas fueron los más altos (2,788 a 4,292 kg ha−1), posiblemente debido a la mejor utilización de nutrientes por parte de las malezas que por los cultivos. Después de que los insumos óptimos fueron restablecidos (tratamiento estándar), la mayoría de las parcelas de cebada y colza recuperaron los niveles de rendimiento óptimos después de un año. Sin embargo, 4 años con todos los insumos óptimos, excepto herbicidas, llevaron a solamente una recuperación del rendimiento de 77% para ambos cultivos. En la mayoría de los sitios, cuando todos los insumos fueron restablecidos por 2 años, todas las parcelas tuvieron rendimientos similares a la combinación del tratamiento estándar. La “recuperación” del rendimiento ocurrió a pesar de los altos niveles de biomasa de malezas (>4,000 kg ha−1) previo al primer año de recuperación y a pesar de los altos niveles del banco de semillas de Avena fatua (>7,000 semillas m−2) al final del segundo año de recuperación. En cultivos en hileras angostas relativamente competitivos, tales como cebada y colza, los efectos negativos de altos bancos de semillas pueden ser mitigados si los productores facilitan doseles de cultivos saludables con dosis apropiadas de semilla y fertilizante en combinación con aplicaciones juiciosas de herbicidas para manejar adecuadamente las malezas emergidas.

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Corresponding author

Corresponding author's E-Mail: neil.harker@agr.gc.ca

References

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Weed Interference Impacts and Yield Recovery after Four Years of Variable Crop Inputs in No-Till Barley and Canola

  • K. Neil Harker (a1), John T. O'Donovan (a1), T. Kelly Turkington (a1), Robert E. Blackshaw (a2), Eric N. Johnson (a3), Stu Brandt (a4), H. Randy Kutcher (a5) and George W. Clayton (a2)...

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