The effect of intercropping on weed infestation of a spring barley crop cultivated in monoculture

Ewa Kwiecińska-Poppe, Piotr Kraska, Edward Pałys


This paper presents the results of a study carried out in the years 2005-2007 in the Bezek Experimental Farm near the city of Chełm, Poland, on heavy mixed rendzina soil. The effect of intercropping, using red clover (cv. Dajana) and white clover (cv. Astra), on weed infestation of a spring barley crop was studied. The species composition of weeds in the spring barley crop changed to a small extent under the influence of the application of clover intercropping, whereas the population size of particular species showed large fluctuations. In the spring barley crop with the red clover intercrop, Sonchus arvensis occurred in greatest numbers among dicotyledonous weed species. In the barley crop with white clover and without intercrop, Viola arvensis and Sonchus arvensis were the dominant dicotyledonous species. Setaria pumila was the dominant monocotyledonous species in all the treatments. Intercropping using red and white clover clearly limited the growth and development of weeds. The red clover intercrop in the spring barley crop better reduced the infestation with dicotyledonous weeds and also significantly reduced the number of monocotyledonous weeds and the total number of weeds, whereas the white clover intercrop limited only the number of monocotyledonous weeds. The application of the herbicide Chwastox Extra 300 SL significantly reduced the fresh weight of weeds found in the spring barley crop. The presence of the intercrop resulted in different total numbers of weeds in particular treatments. Intercropping distinctly limited the occurrence of the following weed species: Sonchus arvensis, Fallopia convolvulus, Melandrium album, Amaranthus retroflexus, Veronica arvensis and Medicago lupulina. The investigated intercrop species also reduced the biomass of weeds. The application of the herbicide did not differentiate the number of monocotyledonous weeds, which resulted from the application of Chwastox Extra 300 SL that controls only dicotyledonous species.


weed infestation; intercropping; weed control

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