Weed Research (2009) 49, 300-307

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W. Roder, T. Dochen, K. Nidup and S. Dorji (2009)
Weed management challenges in small-holder potato systems in Bhutan
Weed Research 49 (3), 300-307
Abstract: Over the past four decades potato has emerged as the most important cash crop for Bhutanese mountain farmers. Farmers' feedback and field observations were used to describe weed populations, weed management and weed-production environment-yield interactions in small-holder potato production systems. Weed species across a range of locations in order of declining importance are: Persicaria runcinata, Galium aparine, Fagopyrum dibotrys, Digitaria ciliaris, Commelina maculata, Galinsoga parviflora and Persicaria nepalensis. The same species were common in the traditional buckwheat and maize production systems as well as the more recently established potato production systems. Limited associations between soil properties, management practices, weed species abundance and potato yield were observed. Species emerging as potential problem weeds, especially P. runcinata and F. dibotrys, are little known outside the Himalayan region. The increase in P. runcinata, reported by 42% of the respondents, was attributed to the use of metribuzin, cutting of rhizomes by plough or spade, high inputs of fertiliser and continuous cultivation of potato by 61%, 17%, 9%, 9% and 4% of respondents respectively. Metribuzin application reduced growth of P. runcinata but could not fully control it. Metribuzin is an effective and affordable weed management tool for small-holder potato farmers, but perennial weed species need further research, combining mechanical and chemical methods with cropping strategies.
(The abstract is excluded from the Creative Commons licence and has been copied with permission by the publisher.)
Link to article at publishers website


Research topic(s) for pests/diseases/weeds:
surveys/sampling/distribution


Pest and/or beneficial records:

Beneficial Pest/Disease/Weed Crop/Product Country Quarant.


Galinsoga parviflora (weed) Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Bhutan
Galium aparine (weed) Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Bhutan
Digitaria ciliaris (weed) Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Bhutan
Persicaria nepalense (weed) Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Bhutan
Polygonum runcinatum (weed) Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Bhutan
Fagopyrum dibotrys (weed) Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Bhutan
Commelina maculata (weed) Potato (Solanum tuberosum) Bhutan