Interference of wild mustard, Sinapis arvenis L., in spring wheat, Triticum aestivum L.

Girma, Kefyalew
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University of Guelph

Wild mustard is a serious weed in spring wheat. A field experiment was conducted at the Elora Research Station in 1997 to determine the competitive effect of wild mustard on hard red spring wheat cultivar 'Celtic' growth and yield. The experiment was arranged in a split plot design with two seeding rates (400 and 200 seeds m\sp−2) as main plots and three weed control methods (weed-free, early-weeded and weedy) as subplots. Results showed that grain and biomass yields of spring wheat were reduced by 76% due to wild mustard competition. The weedy treatment intercepted more light than the weed-free treatment. Wild mustard emerged earlier than wheat and consistently reduced the number of tillers and leaves of spring wheat between Zadoks 12 (2-leaves unfolded) and 32 (2-nodes detectable) growth stages and depressed stem height between Zadoks 30 (stem elongation) and 69 (post anthesis) growth stages. Spikes m\sp−2, grains per spike, harvest index (HI) and 1000-kernel weight (TKW) were reduced by 62, 28, 20 and 12% respectively, from wild mustard competition. Seeding rates affected the growth of spring wheat but not its yield. However, no interaction of seeding rate and weed control was observed. The induced death of tillers and leaves at the early stages of growth suggests that the control of wild mustard should be accomplished not later than Zadoks 21 growth stage. The suppression of stem height, leaf area and HI of spring wheat by wild mustard suggests also the importance of evaluating competition at the different growth stages. This can be used in identifying traits that are most sensitive to wild mustard competition to help design appropriate weed management tools.

wild mustard, Sinapis arvenis L., spring wheat, Triticum aestivum L., competitive effect, hard red spring wheat, Celtic, growth, yield