Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, Switzerland

The spread of yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) concerns everyone

According to a survey conducted in 26 countries, yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.) belongs to the most dangerous weeds in Europe due to its high reproductive capability, its weediness (local abundance) and low success of control. Unintentional spread of tubers from field to field by machinery and crop waste is an important element of the invasion. Visible plants in a field weakly indicate the real rate of infestation. A single treatment with a sustainable control effect does not exist. In field trials, we tested the efficacy of different herbicides. Herbicides alone are not enough for a good nutsedge control in most of vegetable and field crops. Highly effective herbicides are selective in a few crops only. Incorporation of herbicides after application can support their effect. Repeated soil cultivation during the period of tuber formation (May to July) as well as competition by fast-growing dense (cover) crop stands (from July onwards) can reduce the number of tubers in the soil. Our results show clearly that successful measures for the reduction of tuber numbers can quickly be wiped out by subsequent ineffective control strategies.

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