Weed Management in Early-Season Potato Production in the Mediterranean Conditions of Turkey

I. UREMIS1, M. E. CALISKAN2, A. ULUDAG3 and S. CALISKAN2
1 Mustafa Kemal University, Department of Plant Protection, Faculty of Agriculture, Hatay 31034, Turkey
2 Mustafa Kemal University, Department of Field Crops, Faculty of Agriculture, Hatay 31034, Turkey
3 Izmir Agricultural Quarantine Directorate, Alsancak-Izmir, 35230 Turkey

Abstract

UREMIS, I., M. E. CALISKAN, A. ULUDAG and S. CALISKAN, 2009. Weed management in early-season potato production in the Mediterranean conditions of Turkey. Bulg. J. Agric. Sci., 15: 423-434

Early-season potato production is a profitable system in the Mediterranean part of Turkey. Weeds are problem in early-season potato production. The effect of combinations of extended season weed control techniques (none, hand-hoeing twice, black or clear plastic mulch placed at planting, or metribuzin POST and soil applied herbicides (none, trifluralin PPI, or a commercially formulated combination of pendimethalin and metolachlor PRE) on weed control and potato yield were compared. No weed species shift was observed due to treatments. Soil applied herbicides kept weeds under pressure through growing season in some extent, improved effect of black plastic mulch on weed control, caused bigger tubers and consequently higher class-A yield. Although hand-hoeing twice during the growing season resulted in the lowest percent weed cover at harvest and better yield, cost and availability of labor may not make this method feasible for a potato grower. Combinations of PPI or PRE soil-applied herbicides and plastic mulch will be necessary. Overall, black rather than clear plastic mulch seems to be the best choice for an extended-season control method following a PPI or PRE herbicide. Metribuzin controlled weeds in some extent but the effect did not translate to potato yield. Plastic mulches, especially clear one, caused earliness at emergence, which might help earlier harvest.

Key words: trifluralin, pendimethalin+metolachlor, metribuzin, clear plastic mulch, black plastic mulch, hoeing

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