Non-chemical weed control in sugar beet crop under an intensive and conservation soil tillage pattern: II. Crop productivity
¹Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Dept. of Soil Management, Studentu 11, LT-53067Akademija, Kaunas r., Lithuania; Tel.: +370 37 75 22 33, Fax: +370 37 75 22 93;e-mail: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
²Lithuanian University of Agriculture, Dept. of Agricultural Machinery, Studentu 11, LT-53067Akademija, Kaunas r., Lithuania; Tel.: +370 37 75 23 57; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The experiment was conducted with a silty loam (Hipogleyic Luvisol (Calcaric)) at the Experimental Station of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture during 2004-2005. The soil was of neutral pH, medium rich in humus, phosphorus and with a low content of potassium. The aim of the experiment was to establish the influence of soil tillage intensity, living and straw mulch on sugar beet yield and quality: root ramification, sucrose, sodium, potassium and alpha amino nitrogen contents. The soil of the trial was tilled (factor A) intensively (loosening, ploughing) (IT) and minimally (conservation tillage – loosening) (CT). Non-chemical weed control (factor B) was applied: hand weeding, twice (control variant) (HW); spring barley (SBM), annual ryegrass (ARM), white mustard (WMM), spring oilseed rape (SRM) living mulches and winter wheat straw mulch (WSM).According to the results of the experiment, at lower temperature and average precipitationvegetation conditions (2004), a significantly higher yield of sugar beet roots was found in intensively tilled soils. In conditions of higher temperatures and uneven rainfall distribution (2005) we observed converse results. Different soil tillage had no significant influence on the quality of the roots; however, sugar beet roots were more ramified in the intensively tilled soil. The allopathic and choking properties of annual ryegrass decreased sugar beet crop yield, sucrose content and increased the amount of sodium in the roots. The highest sugar beet crop productivity was observed in the following conditions: hand weeded, covered by straw or in the plots with oil seed rape living mulch.