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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: RESPONSE AND ADAPTATION OF CROPS AND WEEDS TO ELEVATED C02 AND GLOBAL WARMING

Location: Crop Systems & Global Change

Title: The role of water availability on weed-crop interactions in processing tomato for Southern Italy

Authors
item Valerio, Maria -
item Lovelli, Stella -
item Perniola, Michele -
item Ditommaso, Teodoro -
item Ziska, Lewis

Submitted to: Acta Agriculturae Scandinavica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: June 18, 2012
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The aim of this study was to quantify the role of water availability on crop and weed competition and weed-related crop losses for processing tomato grown in Southern Italy. Field experiments were carried out during 2008 and 2009, for a two year period. Two levels of water availability (rainfed and irrigated) were imposed to compare weed competitive effects under irrigated and rainfed conditions on tomato. Although the decline in tomato yields by weed interference increased with the amount of water applied (rain + irrigation), the relative effect of weed biomass on competition appeared to increase under drought, relative to irrigated conditions. That is, under drought, the same amount of weed biomass caused a greater reduction in tomato yield. Because of the importance of irrigation in tomato processing, and the increasing cost of water, quantification of weed-induced production losses as a function of water availability may provide useful information for land managers regarding the cost and benefits of weed control if water becomes scarce. Consequently, this information will be useful to land and water managers, weed scientists and agricultural extension.

Technical Abstract: The aim of this study was to quantify the role of water availability on crop and weed interactions and weed-induced crop losses for processing tomato grown in Southern Italy. Field experiments were carried out during 2008 and 2009, for a two year period. Two levels of water availability (rainfed and irrigated) were imposed to compare weed competitive effects under irrigated and rainfed conditions on tomato. Although the decline in tomato yields by weed interference was a direct function of water applied (rain + irrigation), the relative effect of weed biomass on competition appeared to increase under drought, relative to irrigated conditions. Because of the importance of irrigation in tomato processing, and the increasing cost of water, quantification of weed-induced production losses as a function of water availability may provide useful information for land managers regarding the cost and benefits of weed control if water becomes scarce.

Last Modified: 4/21/2014
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