Managing Sonchus arvensis using mechanical and cultural methods


  • T. HURME


Perennial sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis L.) represents an increasing problem in Finland. Options for mechanical and cultural control of S. arvensis were studied in a field experiment on clay soil under organic production. The experiment consisted of different crop sequences: spring cereal (barley, Hordeum vulgare L., in 2001, oats, Avena sativa L., in 2002) with or without inter-row hoeing and/or stubble cultivation, bare fallow, fibre hemp (Cannabis sativa L.), and ley with mowing. In 2003 the entire field was sown to spring wheat. Crop plant and Sonchus shoot density and dry mass prior to cereal harvest and crop yield were assessed. The control effect was rated: bare fallow > ley > cereal with or without inter-row hoeing > poor growth fibre hemp. Bare fallow was an effective but costly way to reduce S. arvensis infestation. Introduction of a regularly mown green fallow or silage ley in the crop rotation is advisable. Mechanical weed control by inter-row hoeing in cereals limits S. arvensis growth. Infestation might also be reduced by stubble cultivation in autumn. When managing S. arvensis using mechanical and cultural methods, appropriate options, including a competitive crop, should be chosen for the specific field and rotation.;


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How to Cite

VANHALA, P., LÖTJÖNEN, T., & HURME, T. (2006). Managing Sonchus arvensis using mechanical and cultural methods. Agricultural and Food Science, 15(4), 444–458.