Pinke Gy, Karácsony P, Botta-Dukát Z et al: Relating Ambrosia artemisiifolia and other weeds ... (2013)

Pinke Gy, Karácsony P, Botta-Dukát Z, Czúcz B
Relating Ambrosia artemisiifolia and other weeds to the management of Hungarian sunflower crops
Journal of Pest Science 86(3): 621-631

The weed control of sunflower is a great challenge for farmers throughout the World. In Hungary, one of the greatest concerns is the pernicious weed Ambrosia artemisiifolia, which produces allergenic pollen. The main goal of this study was to identify cultural, weed-management and environmental factors determining weed species composition and the abundance of A. artemisiifolia in sunflower fields. Altogether 49 sunflower fields across Hungary were surveyed for their weed flora, and 30 environmental, cultural and weed-management factors were measured. Using a minimal adequate model containing 14 terms, 38 % of the total variation in species data could be explained. Soil Mg and Ca content, preceding crop, temperature, and field size had significant effects on species composition. Most of the herbicides were effective against annual grass species, but no herbicide was universally effective against broad-leaved weeds. Almost all types of weeds were efficiently reduced with mechanical weed control. A relatively high share of the explanatory variables were environmental factors, suggesting that the success of weed management in sunflower fields strongly depends on a complex of edaphic and climatic constraints. The abundance of Ambrosia artemisiifolia was positively correlated with high soil Ca content, lower temperature, the preceding crop being a cereal, and smaller field sizes; while considering herbicides it seemed to be most sensitive to fluorchloridon and propisochlor application. To reduce noxious broad-leaved weed species could require specific herbicide mixtures, and mechanical weed control should also be integrated into weed management.