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Study highlights role of cover crops in slowing herbicide resistant weed growth


A study has indicated that cover crops can play an important role in slowing the growth of herbicide-resistant weeds.

The study was published in

"Our hope is that understanding the complementary relationship between cover crops and herbicides can lead to new control strategies that slow the development of resistance," said John M Wallace, State University.

Researchers conducted field experiments in to explore how cover cropping tactics influenced the management of horseweed in no-till grain crops. Seven cover-cropping treatments were used over two subsequent growing seasons.

There were several significant findings. In comparison to fallow control plots, treatments reduced horseweed density at the time of a pre-plant, burndown application by 52 per cent in the first year and 86 per cent in the next.

This reduced the "workload" and lowered the selection pressure for resistant weeds. Cereal rye alone or in combination with forage radish was found to provide the most consistent horseweed suppression.

Importantly, winter hardy cover crops also reduced horseweed size inequality - meaning fewer large horseweed were found at the time of herbicide application. Researchers said this reduces the chance of a size-dependent fitness advantage for horseweed biotypes that develop herbicide resistance.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 15:46 IST