Composition of weed flora in spring cereals in Finland - a fourth survey
AbstractThe weed flora in conventionally and organically grown spring cereals was investigated in southern and central Finland during 20072009. The survey was conducted in 16 regions, 283 farms and 595 fields (72 organically cropped and 523 conventionally cropped fields, of which 503 were treated with herbicides). The occurrence of weeds was assessed in late Julyearly August. Altogether 148 weed species were identified, of which 128 were broad-leaved and 20 grass species. In organically cropped fields, the average species number per field was 21 and the most frequent species were Chenopodium album 96%, Stellaria media 94%, Viola arvensis 94% and Elymus repens 89%. In conventionally cropped fields, the average species number was 12 and the most frequent weed species were Viola arvensis 83%, Stellaria media 65%, Galeopsis spp. 59% and Galium spurium 59%. The average density of weeds was 160 m-2 (median = 112) in sprayed conventional fields and 519 m-2 (468) in organic fields. The average air-dry biomass of weeds was 167 kg ha-1 (median = 82) and 775 kg ha-1 (563), respectively. Elymus repens, the most frequent and abundant grass species, produced the highest proportion (about 30%) of the total weed biomass in both cropping systems. The frequency of Galium spurium in conventional cropping and Fumaria officinalis in organic cropping had increased substantially since the previous survey in 19971999. The average size of the weed seedbank in the 5 cm surface layer was about 1 700 seeds m-2, the most predominant seeds being of C. album. Although the weed flora in Finnish spring cereal fields consists of numerous species, only a fraction of them severely threaten crop production in terms of their frequency and abundance. Weeds in conventional cropping were effectively controlled with available herbicides whereas weed management in organic cropping calls for urgent measures such as direct mechanical weed control in crop stands, which was not practised at all in survey fields.;
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