Camelina as rotation crop for weed control in organic farming in a semi-arid Mediterranean climate
Crop rotation in winter cereals in semiarid Mediterranean climates is highly desirable to prevent weed infestations, but the climatic conditions make it difficult to implement alternative crops to winter cereals. Camelina (Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz) is an interesting option, as it is able to produce profitable yields thanks to its tolerance to cold and drought. In this work, three autumn-winter sowing dates (SD1, October; SD2, December; SD3, January) and two sowing rates (R1, 8 kg ha1; R2, 11 kg ha1) were chosen to evaluate the effectiveness of these cultural methods to control weeds over three seasons, and to determine effects on camelina seed yield. Results showed that a significant reduction of weed coverage was obtained by delaying the sowing date. Sowing rates did not show differences in weed coverage. In contrast, no apparent yield penalty was observed among sowing dates and rates. These results show that the introduction of camelina as a rotational crop in semiarid Mediterranean climates is a feasible option for helping to suppress winter weeds, as well as to provide productive seed yield in these climatic conditions.
Journal or Serie
Agriculture, 2018, vol. 8, (10), 156, p. 1-10