Biological capabilities of weeds and interference with normal crop development and production

In natural areas or even in cultivated areas the high density of certain weed populations and the staggered emergence, which allows them to emerge earlier or in synchrony with the crop, gives them a certain competitive advantage, generally, weeds have great vigor and rapid growth, since they accumulate carbohydrates in the vegetative structures (rhizomes, stolons, tubers).

▶ Credits: feednavigator. – [Image of Public Domain]

▶ Credits: agfaxweedsolutions. – [Image of Public Domain]

▶ These biological abilities of weeds allow them to grow rapidly and interfere with the normal development and production of crops. Some authors consider that the degree of interference of weeds in crops depends on the edaphoclimatic factors of the area where the crop is established, the cultivated species, botanical characteristics, taxonomy, genotype, population density, agronomic management and the period in which they compete with each other for a greater uptake of light and nutrients.

In addition, the critical period of interference of weeds for a given crop is determined by the similarities or morphological and physiological differences that give them a great competitiveness, the C4 metabolism of many weeds that gives them a greater photosynthetic efficiency and, consequently, they can grow rapidly in conditions of high temperatures and good lighting.

On the other hand, the presence of weeds in cultivated soils demands large investments to reduce their influence, which is evidenced by the high proportion of herbicides in the world agrochemical market. While the period prior to interference is a period of time from sowing or emergence.

Even when the crop can coexist with the weed community without suffering negative effects on its productivity. The longer the period of coexistence of the crop with the weeds, when both compete for the resources of the environment, the greater the degree of interference, which significantly harms the crop.

▶ Credits: canr. – [Image of Public Domain]

We can conclude that the intensity of competition in artificial or agricultural areas is normally assessed by decreases in production and/or reduction of growth of cultivated plants, in response to the increasing competition for the resources available in the environment, in this case carbon dioxide, water, light and nutrients.

NOTE: Reference material.

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