INTEGRATED WEED MANAGEMENT AND THEIR FREQUENCY AND DENSITY IN OLIVE GROVES IN SOUTH-WESTERN PART OF ALBANIA PUBLISHEDBujar Huqi, Kico Dhima, Fatbardh Sallaku, Odeta Tota, Remzi Keco, Shpend Shahini
The weed competition can significantly limit the olive tree production depending largely on weed flora and density, as well as on growth conditions between and within growing seasons. Consequently, the effective weed management is required to obtain profitable yields. A number of weeds are known to occur in olive groves depending largely on location and cultural practices and weed management system. In olive groves where tillage comprises a common practice, annual weed species are more prominent than perennial ones. Weed flora was surveyed during 2000 and 2001 in ten established olive groves located in the area Vlora in south-western Albania. Also, the effectiveness of six weed management treatments [soil tillage, straw mulches, cover crop (a mixture of rye with peas) and grazing, as well as glyphosate and diuron application] on weed flora, olive yield and fruit quality was investigated in two locations during 2000, 2001 and 2002. More than 80 weed species were recorded representing a total of 14 families, in which the families Poaceae, Fabaceae, Asteraceae, Ranunculceae and Rosaceae were the predominant. Weed surveys are useful tools for determining the occurrence and relative importance of weed species in crop production systems. This knowledge is essential in setting priorities for weed management or research. However, surveys on weed flora and experimental data on weed management practices in established olive groves throughout the world are limited in the literature. The objectives of this study were i) to determining the most frequently observed weed species and ii) to evaluate the effectiveness of six different weed management practices, in established olive groves in Vlora region (south-western Albania). The results of this study indicated that certain non-chemical weed control methods such as the straw mulches can be successfully implemented in established olive groves providing satisfactory control of weeds and promoting highest fruit and oil yield.