From high herbicide/no tillage to no herbicide/high tillage: how do crops respond?
In general, zero-till systems resulted in higher yields and yields declined as the intensity of tillage was increased. The High Herbicide/Zero Tillage system always resulted in the highest yield. The Medium Herbicide/Zero Tillage, Low Herbicide/Zero Tillage and Medium Herbicide/Medium Tillage systems always resulted in similar yields just slightly lower than the HH/ZT system. Canola yields declined the most and barley and pea yields the least when herbicide inputs were reduced. Management system had little or no effect on crop quality characteristics and weed biomass tended to be greatest when herbicides were not used. As herbicide intensity decreased, weed biomass increased and yield decreased in all crops. Application of fungicide generally increased seed yield of barley, wheat and field pea with the greatest increases occurring in barley. In most cases where yield responses were significant, the magnitude of the increase was relatively small and so the economic impact of fungicide application was often not positive. The greatest response to fungicide occurred in the wetter years of 1999 and 2000. Fungicide application increased seed weight of all crops except for canola, tended to reduce protein concentration of cereals and field pea and increased barley plumpness.
integrated pest management
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