Use of Living, Mowed, and Soil-Incorporated Cover Crops for Weed Control in Apricot Orchards

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TURSUN N., IŞIK D. , Demir Z., Jabran K.

AGRONOMY-BASEL, cilt.8, 2018 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier identifier


Apricot fruits provide important health, economic, and nutritional benefits. Weeds damage apricot production directly and host the pests that cause damages to apricot trees. However, very few studies are available on weed control in apricot orchards. This research work was aimed at evaluating five cover crops for weed suppression in apricot orchard. The effect of living, mowed, and soil-incorporated cover corps on weeds was recorded and compared with glyphosate application and mechanical weed control. The cover crops were Vicia villosa Roth., Vicia pannonica Crantz, Triticale + V. pannonica, Phacelia tanacetifolia Benth., and Fagopyrum esculentum Moench. Five major weed species in the experimental area were Amaranthus retroflexus L., Convolvulus arvensis L., Tribulus terrestris L., Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop., and Sorghum halepense (L.) Per. The highest biomass production was noted for Triticale + V. pannonica in 2015 and for P. tanacetifolia in 2016. Living cover crops were effective in decreasing the weed biomass compared with the control. Both mowing and soil incorporation of cover crops were effective in decreasing weed richness and density over control. Mowed or soil-incorporated cover crops were more effective than herbicide or mechanical weed control, while F. esculentum was the least effective cover crop for suppressing weeds in apricot orchard. The results of our studies implied that cover crops could be used for weed control in apricot, and their mowing or soil incorporation could enhance their efficacy.