COMPETITION AND FACILITATION EFFECTS OF DIFFERENTIAL INTRA-AND INTER-ROW WEED MANAGEMENT IN SUGARCANE

Abstract : Differential intra-and inter-row weed management can be a mean to reduce herbicide use in sugarcane. In 2011, a field experiment was conducted in La Reunion Island to assess inter-row weed competition. Four inter-row weed competition treatments for a duration of one (T1), two (T2), three (T3) and four (T4) months after planting were compared in a randomized complete block design with 5 replicates; treatment plots were paired with non-weeded inter-row control plots. All intra-rows where kept weed-free all season long. Weeds covered 100% of the inter-rows by three months after planting. Sugarcane grew far above the weed canopy, completely closing the canopy between the rows for all treatments. Sugarcane yield decreased by 13 t/ha/month of early weed competition. However, the control yield, expected to be lower than T4, was similar to the T3 treatment. This suggests a late facilitation effect of the inter-rows vegetation in control plots which partially compensates for its early competition effect. This may be due to the particular flora of our experiment, with high populations of N-fixing weeds and broom weeds. The root length density profiles observed in a couple of plots may support the facilitation hypothesis. However, additional research is needed to corroborate this singular result.
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J Martin, M Chabalier, P Letourmy, J.-L Chopart, E Arhiman, et al.. COMPETITION AND FACILITATION EFFECTS OF DIFFERENTIAL INTRA-AND INTER-ROW WEED MANAGEMENT IN SUGARCANE. 22 e CONFÉRENCE DU COLUMA JOURNÉES INTERNATIONALES SUR LA LUTTE CONTRE LES MAUVAISES HERBES, AFPP, Dec 2013, Dijon, France. ⟨cirad-01083719⟩

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