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The effect of soil type and farm size on the variability of weed infestation in maize (Zea mays L.) fields in the south-west region of Poland

Kieloch, Renata, Weber, Ryszard, Gołębiowska, Hanna
International journal of pest management 2018 v.64 no.2 pp. 95-101
Anthemis arvensis, Cambisols, Chenopodium album, Chernozems, Echinochloa crus-galli, Elymus repens, Luvisols, Setaria viridis, Solanum nigrum, Viola arvensis, Zea mays, corn, crop yield, environmental factors, farm size, farming systems, herbicides, large farms, small farms, weeds, Poland
Weeds are a primary factor limiting maize yield. Their occurrence and abundance are affected considerably by environmental factors and farming practices. The variability of weed number in maize depending on the soil type and farm size was investigated. Farms of different sizes vary in farming practices, which affects weediness. Based on this assumption, farm size was considered as indirect factor affecting weed abundance. An investigation of 45 farms that differed in size (5–15 ha, 15–50 ha, >50 ha) and soil type (chernozem, distric cambisol, haplic luvisol) was conducted. Thirteen dominant weed species persistently occurring in maize fields in south-western Poland were examined. Regardless of the soil type and farm size, the most abundant weed species were Echinochloa crus-galli and Chenopodium album. In addition to these species, the most numerous weeds on chernozems were Setaria viridis and Solanum nigrum, while on haplic luvisols and distric cambisols, the most numerous were Viola arvensis and Elymus repens. Additionally, on haplic luvisols, Anthemis arvensis was abundant. Small farms were stronger infested by weeds than large farms due to the implementation of extensive weed-supressing practices, especially low herbicide use. Soil type affected the number of weeds to a greater extent than did farm size.