Special Issue "Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Weed Science and Weed Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Bhagirath S. Chauhan
Website
Guest Editor
Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation (QAAFI), The University of Queensland, Gatton, Queensland 4343, Australia
Interests: weed biology; seed ecology; integrated weed management; herbicide use and resistance management; cultural weed control approaches
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Weeds are one of the most important biological constraints to crop production. They affect crop yield by competing with crops for sunlight, nutrients, water and space. In Australia, for example, weeds cost Australian grain growers >$3 billion dollars in yield losses and control measures. In some cases, they also affect quality of the produce.

Herbicides are used globally to manage weeds. However, the injudicious use of herbicides has resulted in the evolution of herbicide-resistant weed biotypes, weed species population shifts (i.e., hard-to-manage weeds have dominated) and increased costs of herbicides. Globally, >500 unique cases of herbicide-resistant weeds have been reported. Out of these, >300 cases are from the USA, Australia and Canada, suggesting that weed control in these countries heavily depends on herbicides. Now, China and Brazil have also >40 unique resistant cases each. These data suggest that there is a need to develop ecologically sustainable weed management practices in different cropping systems so that herbicide use can sustain for a long time. These practices should also save natural resources for the future. Some of the sustainable weed management practices are: cultural (e.g., crop competition, cover crops, etc.), mechanical (e.g., harvest weed seed control, mechanical weeders, etc.) and biological (bioherbicides, allelopathic plants, etc.).

This special issue will focus on “Ecologically sustainable weed management in cropping systems”. We welcome novel research, reviews, short communications and opinions covering all related topics including cultural, mechanical and biological weed control methods.

Dr. Bhagirath S. Chauhan
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • row spacing
  • competitive-cultivars
  • plant density/seed rate
  • cover crops
  • bioherbicides
  • allelopathy
  • weeders

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Safety of Oilseed Rape Straw Mulch of Different Lengths to Rice and Its Suppressive Effects on Weeds
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 201; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020201 - 01 Feb 2020
Abstract
Rice is widely grown after harvesting of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) in many countries. Experiments were carried out under greenhouse and field conditions to assess the impact of oilseed rape straw mulch on rice and paddy weeds. Oilseed rape mulch (900 [...] Read more.
Rice is widely grown after harvesting of oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.) in many countries. Experiments were carried out under greenhouse and field conditions to assess the impact of oilseed rape straw mulch on rice and paddy weeds. Oilseed rape mulch (900 g m−2) from straw 1-to-7 cm long was found to be safe for rice, when applied four days after sowing (DAS) in direct-seeded rice or four days after transplanting (DAT). In the meantime, the biomass of Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv. was reduced 65.74%, 80.18%, 81.15%, 70.99%, 55.65%, and 27.22%, respectively, when mulched with powder, and 1, 3, 5, 7, and 9-cm long oilseed rape straw, respectively, and the biomass reductions in Leptochloa chinensis (L.) Nees., Ludwigia prostrata Roxb., Ammannia auriculata Willd., and Cyperus difformis L. were all above 97% when mulched with 1 cm-length straw. The results of a field trial confirmed that oilseed rape straw mulch (900 g m−2) of 1 cm length was safe for rice. Moreover, weed suppression was as effective as the standard herbicide (oxadiargyl + butachlor 525 g ai ha−1) treatment. These findings demonstrate the potential to manage paddy rice weeds in an effective and environmentally sound manner by mulching with the straw of a preceding crop, oilseed rape. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
Open AccessArticle
Response of Barley Genotypes to Weed Interference in Australia
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 99; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010099 - 09 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Weed-competitive genotypes could be an important tool in integrated weed management (IWM) practices. However, weed competitiveness is often not considered a priority for breeding high-yielding cultivars. Weed-competitive ability is often evaluated based on weed-suppressive ability (WSA) and weed-tolerance ability (WTA) parameters; however, there [...] Read more.
Weed-competitive genotypes could be an important tool in integrated weed management (IWM) practices. However, weed competitiveness is often not considered a priority for breeding high-yielding cultivars. Weed-competitive ability is often evaluated based on weed-suppressive ability (WSA) and weed-tolerance ability (WTA) parameters; however, there is little information on these aspects for barley genotypes in Australia. In this study, the effects of weed interference on eight barley genotypes were assessed. Two years of field experiments were performed in a split-plot design with three replications. Yield loss due to weed interference ranged from 43% to 78%. The weed yield amongst genotypes varied from 0.5 to 1.7 Mg ha−1. Relative yield loss due to weed interference was negatively correlated with WTA and WSA. A negative correlation was also found between WSA and weed seed production (r = −0.72). Similarly, a negative correlation was found between WTA and barley yield in the weedy environment (r = −0.91). The results suggest that a high tillering ability and plant height are desirable attributes for weed competitiveness in the barley genotypes. These results also demonstrated that among the eight barley genotypes, Commander exhibited superior WSA and WTA parameters and therefore, could be used in both low- and high-production systems for weed management. Westminster had a superior WSA parameter. Therefore, it could be used for weed management in organic production systems. These results also implied that genotypic ranking on the basis of WSA and WTA could be used as an important tool in strengthening IWM programs for barley. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Potential Volatile Allelopathic Plants from Bangladesh, with Sapindus mukorossi as a Candidate Species
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010049 - 29 Dec 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
This study focuses on identifying volatile emissions from plants with potential plant growth inhibitory activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate plant species from the Asian country Bangladesh for new, potential volatile allelopathic species. A total of 103 plant samples from [...] Read more.
This study focuses on identifying volatile emissions from plants with potential plant growth inhibitory activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate plant species from the Asian country Bangladesh for new, potential volatile allelopathic species. A total of 103 plant samples from 40 different families were assessed with the dish pack (DP) method. About 25% of the evaluated plant samples influenced (inhibited or stimulated) the growth of lettuce, due to the presence of potentially volatile allelochemicals. The pericarp of Sapindus mukorossi Gaertn. caused the lowest radicle elongation (3% of control) of the lettuce. This was followed by the leaves of Cassia nodosa Roxb. (34.4%) and the root of Kaempferia galangal L. (43.4%), in that order. Therefore, the pericarp of S. mukorossi is reported from this study as a new potential volatile allelopathic species. On the contrary, the leaves of Gynostemma pentaphyllum Thunb. had a stimulatory effect on the hypocotyl elongation of lettuce seedlings (156% of control). The single petri dish (SPD), a new method, was also adapted to justify the potentiality of the growth control of particular allelopathic species. This study revealed that the new potentially volatile allelopathic plant species could be further explored in sustainable weed management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Germination Ecology of Brachiaria eruciformis in Australia and Its Implications for Weed Management
Agronomy 2020, 10(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10010030 - 24 Dec 2019
Abstract
Brachiaria eruciformis (Sm.) Griseb. is a noxious weed of Australia and other parts of the world. The effects of different environmental conditions on the seed germination and seedling emergence of three biotypes sourced from different cropping systems (mungbean field, sorghum field, and fenceline) [...] Read more.
Brachiaria eruciformis (Sm.) Griseb. is a noxious weed of Australia and other parts of the world. The effects of different environmental conditions on the seed germination and seedling emergence of three biotypes sourced from different cropping systems (mungbean field, sorghum field, and fenceline) of this weed were evaluated. There were no differences in the response of biotypes to the evaluated factors; therefore, the data was pooled across the biotypes. The highest germination rate was observed at 30/20 °C, and seeds germinated both in light and dark conditions. Seed germination was influenced by different sodium chloride (NaCl) concentrations and water potentials, and no seeds germinated at 200 mM NaCl and −0.8 MPa water potential. Seeds germinated (>70%) at a broad range of pH, from 4 to 10. Compared with seeds sown on the soil surface, a burial depth of 4 cm reduced the seedling emergence by 84%. Similarly, a sorghum residue amount of 4 t ha−1 on the soil surface reduced the seedling emergence by 65%, compared with no sorghum residue cover. No seedlings emerged from seeds buried at 8 cm depth and >4 t ha−1 sorghum residue. This study suggests that burying seeds deep into the soil through tillage or employing a residue cover on the soil surface can reduce B. eruciformis emergence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Interaction of Preventive, Cultural, and Direct Methods for Integrated Weed Management in Winter Wheat
Agronomy 2019, 9(9), 564; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9090564 - 19 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Crop rotations dominated by winter annual crops and relying on the use of herbicides to control weeds have resulted in weed communities dominated by a few highly specialized species such as Alopecurus myosuroides. Integrated weed management (IWM) represents a sensible strategy to [...] Read more.
Crop rotations dominated by winter annual crops and relying on the use of herbicides to control weeds have resulted in weed communities dominated by a few highly specialized species such as Alopecurus myosuroides. Integrated weed management (IWM) represents a sensible strategy to target such difficult weeds, through a combination of preventive, cultural, and direct means. In six field trials over three years, we tested the effect of stale seedbed preparation, winter wheat seed rate, and chemical weed control strategy on Alopecurus myosuroides control efficacy and variability in efficacy. The field experiments were carried out under reduced tillage practice and without pre-sowing use of glyphosate. Stale seedbed preparation alone reduced A. myosuroides infestation level by 25% on average. No clear effect was found of increasing winter wheat seed rate from 300 to 400 seeds m−2. A combination of stale seedbed preparation and herbicide treatment in autumn and spring was found to be synergistic, improving weed control efficacy significantly and moreover reducing the variability in control efficacy and hence the risk for weed control failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluation of Organic Spring Cover Crop Termination Practices to Enhance Rolling/Crimping
Agronomy 2019, 9(9), 519; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9090519 - 06 Sep 2019
Abstract
With organic farming hectarage and cover crop interest increasing throughout the United States, effectively timed cover crop termination practices are needed that can be utilized in organic conservation tillage production systems. Four commercially available termination treatments approved by Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) [...] Read more.
With organic farming hectarage and cover crop interest increasing throughout the United States, effectively timed cover crop termination practices are needed that can be utilized in organic conservation tillage production systems. Four commercially available termination treatments approved by Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) were evaluated, immediately following mechanical termination with a cover crop roller/crimper and compared to a synthetic herbicide termination to access termination rates. Treatments included rolling/crimping followed by (1) 20% vinegar solution (28 L a.i. ha−1 acetic acid), (2) 2.5 L a.i. ha−1 45% cinnamon (Cinnamomum verum L.) oil (cinnamaldehyde, eugenol, eugenol acetate)/45% clove oil (eugenol, acetyl eugenol, caryophyllene) mixture, (3) 0.15 mm clear polyethylene sheeting applied with edges manually tucked into the soil for 28 days over the entire plot area (clear plastic), (4) broadcast flame emitting 1100 °C applied at 1.2 k/h (flame), (5) glyphosate applied at 1.12 kg a.i. ha−1 (this non-OMRI-approved, non-organic conservation tillage cover crop termination standard practice was included to help ascertain desiccation, regrowth, and economics), and (6) a non-treated control. Five cover crop species were evaluated: (1) hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), (2) crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.), (3) cereal rye (Secale cereale L.), (4) Austrian winter pea (Pisum sativum L.), and (5) rape (Brassica napus L.). Three termination timings occurred at four-week intervals beginning mid-March each year. In April or May, organic producers are most likely to be successful using a roller crimper as either a broadcast flamer for terminating all winter covers evaluated, or utilizing clear plastic for hairy vetch, winter peas, and cereal rye. Ineffectiveness and regrowth concerns following cover crop termination in March are substantial. Commercially available vinegar and cinnamon/clove oil solutions provided little predictable termination, and producers attempting to use these OMRI-approved products will likely resort to cover crop incorporation, or mowing, to terminate covers if no other practice is readily available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Bio-Herbicidal Effects of Oregano and Rosemary Essential Oils on Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) Crop in Organic Farming System
Agronomy 2019, 9(9), 475; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9090475 - 21 Aug 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) is a well-known medicinal plant species in which the products requested from the market are those that are derived from the organic system. The study was conducted to assess the allelopathic effects, as natural herbicides, of two essential [...] Read more.
Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla L.) is a well-known medicinal plant species in which the products requested from the market are those that are derived from the organic system. The study was conducted to assess the allelopathic effects, as natural herbicides, of two essential oils extracted from oregano (Origanum vulgare L.) and rosemary (Rosmarimum officinalis L.), with the objective of exploring the possibility of their utilization for future weed management. A field experiment was conducted over two seasons, when the infestation of 15 different weed species was detected. Each essential oil was applied at two different concentrations (50% diluted and undiluted), three times during the chamomile crop under an organic farm system. The results demonstrated that the germination of different weed species was affected differently by the type of essential oils and especially by their concentrations. The undiluted oils inhibited most of the germination of several weed species, highlighting a significantly higher percentage of Weed Control Efficiency (WCE) and suggesting the potential to be used as bio-herbicides. Bioherbicidal weed control methods could offer an advantage with respect to hand weeding, particularly from an economic point of view. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrated Rice-Duck Farming Decreases Soil Seed Bank and Weed Density in a Paddy Field
Agronomy 2019, 9(5), 259; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9050259 - 22 May 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Coupled cropping-breeding modes have been highly recommended due to their ecological and sustainable nature. Integrated rice-duck farming is a typical ecological planting system in rice paddy fields and has been widely popularized in Asia where a considerable area of cropland has been planting [...] Read more.
Coupled cropping-breeding modes have been highly recommended due to their ecological and sustainable nature. Integrated rice-duck farming is a typical ecological planting system in rice paddy fields and has been widely popularized in Asia where a considerable area of cropland has been planting rice. In this study, two experimental treatments of turbid water or rice-duck treatment were established to compare with the control and a conventional treatment in absence of ducks. The turbid water treatment imitated the muddying effect by duck activities with the trampling and foraging effects excluded, while the rice-duck treatment included all of the mentioned effects by raising ducks in rice paddy field. Results showed that the rice-duck treatment significantly reduced soil seed bank density by more than 40% and the figures under the turbid water treatment were 18.2% and 30.5%, accordingly, in the early and late rice growing seasons. Moreover, the rice-duck treatment significantly altered the vertical distribution of soil seed bank by substantially declining the seed density in the topsoil (0–5 cm). Changes in soil seed bank density considerably contributed to the declines in above-ground weed density because a significant correlation was detected between the soil seed bank density in the early season and the weed density in the late season. Our results of declined soil seed bank and weed density in integrated rice-duck farming imply that this system is highly efficient as a biological pathway for controlling weeds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Non-Chemical Weed Management in Vegetables by Using Cover Crops: A Review
Agronomy 2020, 10(2), 257; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy10020257 - 11 Feb 2020
Cited by 3
Abstract
Vegetables are a substantial part of our lives and possess great commercial and nutritional value. Weeds not only decrease vegetable yield but also reduce their quality. Non-chemical weed control is important both for the organic production of vegetables and achieving ecologically sustainable weed [...] Read more.
Vegetables are a substantial part of our lives and possess great commercial and nutritional value. Weeds not only decrease vegetable yield but also reduce their quality. Non-chemical weed control is important both for the organic production of vegetables and achieving ecologically sustainable weed management. Estimates have shown that the yield of vegetables may be decreased by 45%–95% in the case of weed–vegetable competition. Non-chemical weed control in vegetables is desired for several reasons. For example, there are greater chances of contamination of vegetables by herbicide residue compared to cereals or pulse crops. Non-chemical weed control in vegetables is also needed due to environmental pollution, the evolution of herbicide resistance in weeds and a strong desire for organic vegetable cultivation. Although there are several ways to control weeds without the use of herbicides, cover crops are an attractive choice because these have a number of additional benefits (such as soil and water conservation) along with the provision of satisfactory and sustainable weed control. Several cover crops are available that may provide excellent weed control in vegetable production systems. Cover crops such as rye, vetch, or Brassicaceae plants can suppress weeds in rotations, including vegetables crops such as tomato, cabbage, or pumpkin. Growers should also consider the negative effects of using cover crops for weed control, such as the negative allelopathic effects of some cover crop residues on the main vegetable crop. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecologically Sustainable Weed Management in Cropping Systems)
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