Weed control – a key factor for successful crop associations

Albert Kopali*, Zydi Teqja

Agricultural University of Tirana, Tirana

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AbstractCompetition of plants for capture of essential resources for plant growth (light, water and nutrients) is a critical process in natural, semi-natural and agricultural ecosystems. Weed management is one of the key elements of most agricultural systems because it is evaluated that about 10% of agricultural production worldwide is lost because of the competition effect of weeds. This issue becomes with higher interest when we consider crop associations. In Albania crop associations, as such, began their life back in the ‘60s and started to expand substantially in the 80’s. Yet, it should be stated that the studies conducted have focused narrowly on defining solely the components towards achieving high production yield or on their agro-techniques rather than on associations per se. There has been little experimentation in terms of their impact on the quality of crop association production, in the biological control of plant pests and the quality of environment in general. In real terms, the changes they bring to the agro-ecosystems are not quite familiar. In order to identify the advantages and the important functions crop association have over the biological production methods the following study was undertaken primarily to evaluate the weed control of crop associations through determining the efficiency and stability of bilateral crop associations to be recommended for use as critical components in agro-ecosystems. The processing of experimental data was modeled upon the Willey model [20]. From the elaboration of data it resulted that the biggest productive edge is being produced by the association barley + pea. This is being followed by the association of barley with hairy vetch.

Keywords: crop association; intercropping, weed.

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