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Is Tillage a Suitable Option for Weed Management in Conservation Agriculture?

Abstract : In Europe, conservation agriculture (CA) is currently challenged by higher weed pressure, potential glyphosate ban and reduced crop yield. Based on preliminary results and a critical analysis, we provide insights on how to assess the e ect of introducing di erent levels of tillage intensity, after a long-term CA sequences, on weed communities and crop yield. The experiment compared three types of fallow management (ploughing (CT), reduced tillage (RT), no-till with glyphosate (NT)) on four fields after 17 years of no-plough, which ended with 7 years of CA. The introduction of tillage proved to be a major driver of weed communities before weeding (density, richness and composition) in winter wheat. Weed density and species richness before weeding was greatest in RT, intermediate in CT and lowest in NT. The number of grains per ear and crop yield increased with tillage intensity (+11% for RT, +31% for CT).We provide avenues for future research through detailed methods and key references. Di erences in winter wheat productivity were possibly related to enhanced soil structure and increased mineralisation of soil organic matter. Potential benefits of occasional ploughing will depend on the density and composition of the newly upwelled weed seedbank, which will need to be assessed before implementing tillage. From a multicriteria perspective, the long-term benefits associated with CA could largely exceed short-term yield increases associated with occasional tillage. Future studies will need to characterize the impact of occasional tillage operations on the long-term multiperformance of CA systems.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03143809
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Submitted on : Wednesday, February 17, 2021 - 9:21:58 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 3:08:46 AM

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Stéphane Cordeau, Auxence Baudron, Guillaume Adeux. Is Tillage a Suitable Option for Weed Management in Conservation Agriculture?. Agronomy, MDPI, 2020, 10 (11), pp.1746. ⟨10.3390/agronomy10111746⟩. ⟨hal-03143809⟩

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