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  • Author or Editor: Husrev Mennan x
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Weed management is critical in hazelnut (Corylus avellana) production. Weeds reduce nutrient availability, interfere with tree growth, and reduce hand-harvesting efficiency. Field experiments were conducted from Fall 2006 to 2010 to test effects of brassica (Brassica sp.) cover crops and hazelnut husk mulch as alternative weed management strategies in hazelnut. The cover crop treatments consisted of rape (Brassica napus), field mustard (Brassica rapa), oriental mustard (Brassica juncea), and fallow with no cover crop. Hazelnut husk was surface-applied at two thicknesses, 5- and 10-cm-thick layer. Dry biomass production by the cover crops was relatively consistent among years with oriental mustard producing the most biomass. Throughout the growing seasons, the cover crops reduced weed density, weed dry weight, and the number of weed species when compared with the fallow treatment. The most effective cover crop at suppressing weeds was oriental mustard. Hazelnut husk applied as a 10-cm-thick layer on the ground was highly effective at controlling weeds up to 180 days after application and reduced total weed dry weight by 83% at the end of the season. Our findings indicate that brassica cover crops or hazelnut husk may help control annual weed species in hazelnut orchards during early summer. However, these strategies should be combined with other methods like chemicals or cultivation for adequate weed management.

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