Effect of controlled traffic farming on weed occurrence
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Soil compaction caused by field traffic is one of the most important yield limiting factors. Moreover, published results report that soil over-compaction inhibits the uptake of plant nutrients and decreases their ability to compete with weeds. Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) is technology which prevents excessive soil compaction and minimizes compacted area to the least possible area of permanent traffic lines. A long-term experiment was established at University farm in Kolinany (Slovakia) in 2010 with 6 m OutTrack CTF system. Random Traffic Farming (RTF) is simulated by 1 annual machinery pass crossing the permanent traffic lines. Aim of presented study was to assess the effect of CTF on weed infection pressure. To achieve this, weed occurrence at different traffic treatments was determined. Emerged weeds per square meter were counted, identified and recorded at 14 monitoring points. Results showed that higher weed infection was found at the area with one machinery pass compared to the non-compacted area. Following weeds were identified: Bromus secalinus L., Stellaria media (L.) VILL., Veronica persica POIR. in LAMK., Poa annua L., Polygonum aviculare L., Convolvulus arvensis L. Occurrence of these weeds could be used as soil compaction indicator. Based on these results it can be concluded, that CTF technology has potential to decrease weed infestation in comparison to RTF system due to ration of non-compacted to compacted area. Moreover, with exact localization of weeds in traffic lines together with exact identification of weed species, it is possible to target the application of herbicides.