Study on the early competition between sunflower and weeds in field experiments

É Lehoczky, P. Reisinger, T. Komíves, T. Szalai

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of our study was to obtain concrete data on the competition of sunflower and weeds in the early stage of growth by measuring the biomass production of plants and to get further information on the rate of nutrient uptake of weeds under field conditions. The correlation between the biomass of weeds and sunflower was evaluated. The experimental results confirm that the importance of the early competition depends on the rate of weed infestation with special regard to the competition for nutrients. A field experiment was carried out at Baracska, Fejer county, Hungary, on a 9.2 ha area of calcareous loamy chernozem soil in 2004. Samples were taken five weeks after the sowing of sunflower at a growing stage of 8 paired leaves. Weed control was done end of April 2004 on the experimental field with herbicides as follows: Racer (fluorchloridon) 2 l/ha + Guardian Max (acetochlor + DK-29 safener) 2 l/ha + Prometrex 500 SC (prometryne) 2.2 l/ha. For the sake of competition studies no herbicides were applied further on sampling sites (2 x 2 m) that were identified by DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System). The populations of weeds growing on the sampling areas were assayed by using the Balázs- Ujvárosi coenological method and from six randomly selected sampling areas all weed and crop plants were harvested. Plants belonging to different taxa were separated, identified, counted, and the plants' fresh and dry weights were measured. For comparison, sunflower plants were harvested from neighboring herbicide-treated sites and analyzed. Altogether 13 weed species were found such as Amaranthus blitoides, Amaranthus retroflexus, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Bilderdykia convolvulus, Cannabis sativa, Chenopodium album, Chenopodium hybridum, Datura stramonium, Echinochloa crus-galli, Hibiscus trionum, Panicum miliaceum, Polygonum persicaria and Solanum nigrum. On average seven weed species were found per sampling site. As a result of crop-weed competition, the shoot mass of sunflower plants was 23.5 % lower on weedy sites than on herbicide treated sites (weed free). A negative linear correlation was found between the biomass weight of weeds and the shoot weight of sunflower. We found that uptake of large amounts of nutrients by weeds at the early stage of the development of sunflower is an important factor in crop-weed competition. As a result, the shoots of weed-free sunflower contained 22 % more nitrogen, 31 % more phosphorus and 43 % more potassium than those collected from weedy areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-940
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Plant Diseases and Proctectio, Supplement
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2006


  • Biomass production
  • Crop-weed competition
  • DGPS
  • Nutrient uptake
  • Sunflower

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science
  • Horticulture

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