Phelipanche ramosa (L. - Pomel) Control in Field Tomato Crop
The tomato is a very important crop, whose cultivation in the Mediterranean basin is severely affected by the phytoparasitic weed Phelipanche ramosa. The semiarid regions of the world are considered the main areas where this parasitic weed is established causing heavy infestation as it is able to produce high numbers of seeds (up to 500,000 per plant), which remain viable for extended period (more than 20 years). In this paper the results obtained from eleven treatments in order to control this parasitic weed including chemical, agronomic, biological and biotechnological methods compared with the untreated test under two plowing depths (30 and 50 cm) are reported. The split-plot design with 3 replicates was adopted. In 2014 a trial was performed in Foggia province (southern Italy) on processing tomato (cv Docet) grown in the field infested by Phelipanche ramosa. Tomato seedlings were transplant on May 5, on a clay-loam soil. During the growing cycle of the tomato crop, at 56-78 and 92 days after transplantation, the number of parasitic shoots emerged in each plot was detected. At tomato harvesting, on August 18, the major quantity-quality yield parameters were determined (marketable yield, mean weight, dry matter, pH, soluble solids and color of fruits). All data were subjected to analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the means were compared by Tukey's test. Each treatment studied did not provide complete control against Phelipanche ramosa. However, among the different methods tested, some of them which Fusarium, gliphosate, radicon biostimulant and Red Setter tomato cv (improved genotypes obtained by Tilling technology) under deeper plowing (50 cm depth) proved to mitigate the virulence of the Phelipanche ramose attacks. It is assumed that these effects can be improved combining some of these treatments each other, especially for a gradual and continuing reduction of the “seed bank” of the parasite in the soil.
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