The adoption of no-till (NT) in the semi-arid region of Mediterranean Spain has promoted a weed vegetation change, where rigput brome (Bromus diandrus
Roth) represents a main concern. In order to avoid complete reliance on herbicides, the combination of several control methods, without excluding chemical ones, can contribute to an integrated weed management (IWM) system for this species. In this field study, 12 three-year management programs were chosen, in which alternative non-chemical methods—delay of sowing, crop rotation, sowing density and pattern, stubble removal—are combined with chemical methods to manage B. diandrus
in winter cereals under NT. Moreover, their effects on weed control and crop productivity were analyzed from the point of view of the efficiency of the control methods, based on a previously developed emergence model for B. diandrus
. All management programs were effective in reducing the weed infestation, despite the different initial weed density between blocks. For high weed density levels (60–500 plants m−2
), two years of specific managements resulted in ≥99% reduction of its population. For even higher density levels, three years were needed to assure this reduction level. Both the emergence of the weed and the crop yields are mainly driven by the seasonal climatic conditions in this semi-arid area. For this reason, among the non-chemical methods, only crop rotation and sowing delay contributed to an effective weed population decrease as well as an increase in the economic income of the yield. The other alternative methods did not significantly contribute to controlling the weed. This work demonstrates that mid-term management programs combining chemical with non-chemical methods can effectively keep B. diandrus
under control with economic gains compared to traditional field management methods in semi-arid regions.
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