Evaluation of yield quality and weed infestation of common valerian (Valeriana officinalis L.) in dependence on weed control method and forecrop.

Cezary Kwiatkowski

Abstract


A field experiment involving the cultivation of common valerian was conducted on loess soil in Abramów (Lublin region) in the period 2007-2009. Qualitative parameters of herbal raw material obtained from this plant as well as in-crop weed infestation were evaluated depending on the protection method and forecrop. Hand-weeded plots, in which a hand hoe was used, were the control. In the other treatments, weeds were controlled using various herbicides and a mechanical implement (brush weeder). Potato and winter wheat + field pea cover crop were the forecrops for common valerian crops. A hypothesis was made that the use of a brush weeder and herbicides not registered for application in valerian crops would have a positive effect on this plant's productivity and weed infestation in its crops. It was also assumed that the introduction of a cover crop would allow the elimination of differences in the forecrop value of the crop stands in question. The best quantitative and qualitative parameters of common valerian raw material as well as the largest reduction of incrop weed infestation were recorded after the application of the herbicides which were not type approved. The use of the brush weeder in the interrows also had a beneficial effect on productivity of the plant in question, but secondary weed infestation at the end of the growing season of common valerian turned out to be its disadvantage. Traditional crop protection methods used in common valerian crops were less effective in weed infestation reduction and they resulted in lower plant productivity and raw material quality. Potato proved to be a better forecrop for common valerian than winter wheat + field pea; however, this positive effect was not confirmed statistically. The following annual weeds: Chenopodium album, Galinsoga parviflora, Stellaria media, were predominant in the common valerian crop. Traditional weed control methods resulted in the dominance of some dicotyledonous weeds, such as Viola arvensis, Galium aparine, Capsella bursa-pastoris.

Keywords


common valerian; biometric traits; essential oil; valerenic acids; mechanical and chemical weed control; forecrop

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