Study

Minimum tillage leads to enhanced growth of sterile brome Bromus sterilis in wheat fields, in experiments at Broom's Barn Experimental Station, Suffolk, UK

  • Published source details McCloskey M.C., Firbank L.G., Watkinson A.R. & Webb D.J. (1998) Interactions between weeds of winter wheat under different fertilizer, cultivation and weed management treatments. Weed Research, 38, 11-24

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use organic rather than mineral fertilizers

Action Link
Farmland Conservation

Reduce tillage

Action Link
Farmland Conservation
  1. Use organic rather than mineral fertilizers

    A randomized, replicated, controlled trial from 1990 to 1992 in Suffolk, UK (McCloskey et al. 1998) found that the use of organic rather than mineral fertilizers did not affect the abundance of three weed species, sterile brome Bromus sterilis, common poppy Papaver rhoeas and cleavers Galium aparine. Abundance of the three species did not differ between plots treated with organic poultry manure and those treated with conventional NPK fertilizer. From October 1989 winter wheat plots were treated with either composted poultry manure or conventional NPK fertilizer, applied at 240 kg N/ha/year. The weed species were sown either singly or together, or left to grow naturally in control plots. There were three 9 m2 replicate plots for each combination of treatments. Weed growth was monitored from 1990 to 1992.

     

  2. Reduce tillage

    A randomized, replicated, controlled trial from 1990 to 1992 in Suffolk, UK (McCloskey et al. 1998), found that abundance of the grass weed, sterile brome Bromus sterilis, increased ten-fold each year in plots with minimum tillage, but did not increase in ploughed plots. This was true on plots where sterile brome was sown alone, with other weed species or control plots with weeds unsown. Numbers of other weeds - common poppy Papaver rhoeas and cleavers Galium aparine, remained low on most plots and did not show a consistent difference between ploughed and minimum tillage plots. From October 1989 winter wheat plots were either ploughed to a depth of 22 cm or minimum-tilled to a depth of 6 cm. Minimum tilled plots were treated with conventional herbicides used to control grass weeds in cereals. Ploughed plots were selectively weeded and hoed by hand twice a year at most. There were three 9 m2 replicate plots for each combination of treatments. Weed growth was monitored from 1990 to 1992.

     

Output references

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