This book provides the concepts, techniques, and recent developments with regard to use of mulches in agriculture, utility of mulches for non-chemical pest control, and sustainability of crop production systems. Non-conventional means of improving the sustainability of crop production and pest control are required in the wake of environmental concerns over the use of conventional pesticides as well as the intensive use of land resources. Mulches have been used in agriculture for various purposes; however, there has been an increase in their use more recently, and scientists around the world have conducted more research to explore the benefits of mulching in various agricultural systems. Mulches have been found advantageous in non-chemical pest control, soil and water conservation, improving fertility, and improving microbial activities in the soil. While this is a topic of current importance, the information use of mulches in agricultural fields is rarely compiled in one comprehensive location to provide a full account of various aspects of mulches and their utility. This book will be helpful for researchers, growers, and students.
Wheat is among the most important cereal andfood cropsof world and is grown in almost all parts of the world. It is astaplefor a large part of the world population. Any decline in wheat yield by biotic or abiotic factors may affect global food security adversely. Weeds are the most damaging pest of wheat causing in total 24% losses in wheatgrain yield. In this chapter, we discuss the (i) weedflorain different wheat-growing regions of world; (ii) the yield losses caused by weeds in wheat; (iii) the preventive and cultural options for weed management; (iv) physicalweed control; (v)chemical weed control; and (vi)integrated weed managementstrategy in wheat. A critical analysis of recent literature indicated that broadleaved weeds are the most common group of weeds in wheat fields followed bygrass weeds, whilesedgeswere rarely noted in wheat fields. Across the globe, the most important weeds in wheat fields wereAvena fatuaL.,Chenopodium albumL.,Phalaris minorRetz.,Galium aparineL.,Stellaria media(L.) Vill., andVeronica persicaPoir., respectively. Adoption of wise weed management strategies may help control weeds and avoid yield losses. Both preventive measures and cultural practices have proved their significance for improving weed control in wheat; physical and chemical tools are the other options. Moreover, site-specificherbicideapplication may help to make weed control economical and reduce the herbicide input. Nonetheless, integrated strategies should be opted for effective and ecofriendly weed management in wheat.
-In allelopathy, plants benefit or damage each other through allelochemicals.-Several allelochemicals [phenolic compounds, benzoxazinoids, sorgoleone, glucosinolates, momilactones] have been reported and those could be used for weed control.- A few techniques [crop rotation, inter-cropping, mulching] can manipulate allelopathy of crops to suppress weeds.