Weeds Biomass as Affected by Tillage Practices and Cropping Systems under a Semiarid Environment

Biomassa de Plantas Daninhas Afetada por Práticas de Lavoura e Sistemas de Cultivo em Ambiente Semiárido

MEHMOOD-UL-HASSAN A. QAYYUM A. SHER M.I. TAHIR M. AZEEM A. FAREED About the authors

ABSTRACT:

Tillage practice has a significant role on weeds eradication and soil water conservation in crop production. Under semiarid agriculture, the monsoon rains (65%) are major source of water in Potohar, Pakistan, which can effectively be used mostly for winter crops production. To evaluate the impact of different tillage system for prevailing cropping systems and their weeds biomass under semiarid conditions, field experiment was conducted at the Arid University Research Farm Koont Rawalpindi (Pakistan) during crop growth seasons 2013-14 and 2014-15. Tillage systems as treatments were (a) three cultivations with a cultivator, as control treatment, (b) mold-board with two cultivations, (c) chisel-plough with two cultivations and (d) minimum tillage (only tillage performed at sowing time) with glyphosate. Sowing was made using drill for all cropping systems i.e. a, b, and d except c which was planted on bed (made by bed planter). In addition to ploughing treatments, different cropping systems (a) wheat - fallow (b) wheat and brassica - fallow, (c) wheat and chickpea - fallow and (d) wheat - cluster bean (green manure crop) were also used for minimum two years rotations. On average in both study years, interactive effect of treatments (mold board with 2 cultivations) for the rotation wheat and brassica - fallow showed a reduction in weeds dry biomass of Anagallis arvensis (blue pimpernel, 55.6%), Asphodelus tenuifolius (jungle onion, 42.3%), Chenopodium album (common goosefoot, 40.8%), Circium arvense (creeping thistle, 53.1%), Convolvulus arvensis (field bind weed, 56.6%) and Cynodon dactylon (vilfa stellata, 45.8%) within 60 days after sowing (DAS) as compared with the control treatment (three cultivations on a wheat - fallow cropping system). Similar trends were observed at the crop maturity stage. Results of the experiment showed that better weed biomass suppression can be achieved by using moldboard plough for cultivation with followed by wheat- brassica cropping system and/or wheat - chickpea intercropping for semiarid soil condition in Pakistan.

Keywords:
tillage; cropping systems; weeds; biomass; semiarid

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