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Effect of living mulches on yield components of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and weed seed productivity in line with sustainable agriculture

Sirous Hassannejad, Ahmad Reza Mobli

Department of Plant Eco-Physiology, University of Tabriz, Iran

Key words: Living mulches, hairy vetch, rapeseed, triticale, weed management.


living-mulch-1024x678In order to evaluate the effects of some cover crops as living mulches on yield components of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and weed seed productivity in sunflower field, an experiment was done in 2012 at the Research Field of Tabriz University, Iran. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with nine treatments in three replications. Treatments included triticale, hairy vetch, rapeseed, triticale + hairy vetch, triticale + rapeseed, hairy vetch + rapeseed, application of trifluralin herbicide, and controls (weed infested and weed free without planting cover crop). Result indicated than in all cover crops treatments weeds seed production was reduced. Maximum reduction in seed production for total weed species was observed in hairy vetch + rapeseed (69.17%), and also 65.37% reduction in weed seed productivity was observed in triticale + rapeseed compared to weed infested treatment. Although weed seed production was reduced due to presence of these living mulches, but yield components of sunflower were significantly affected by treatments, too. Triticale had lowest effect on yield components of sunflower. On the other hand, not significantly differences were found between trifluralin usage and triticale. Using of living mulch as a strategy to reduce the damage of weeds and application of herbicide can be helpful in integrated weed management and sustainable agriculture.

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