Low disturbance seeding suppresses weeds in no-tillage soyabean

Giovani Theisen, L. Bastiaans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Germination is a key process in the dynamics of weed populations. In no-tillage systems, crop seeding is often found to induce seed germination in the seeding strip. In this research, experiments to investigate options for reducing weed seedling establishment were conducted in no-till soyabean fields located in two sites in south Brazil. A first experiment revealed that a reduction in emergence of some important weed species can be achieved by lowering seeding speed. Further experiments showed the ability of a modified seeder to contribute to an additional reduction in weed establishment. On the modified seeder, coulter discs were equipped with lateral blades, to diminish soil disturbance and to maintain a uniform soil cover by properly cutting the mulch layer. In a field with a high level of residues, the modified seeder, in contrast to the standard seeder, prevented the increase of soil exposure when seeding at high speed. The predominant weeds were annual species. Averaged over all seeding rates, the new equipment led to a 56% reduction in within-row weed density, compared with the standard seeder. Regardless of seeder type, overall weed density increased with seeding speed, but with the modified seeder, this increase was only half that of the standard seeder. The modified seeder reduced weed biomass by 30% and increased soyabean grain yield by 42%. The research demonstrated that relatively simple changes, like a minor modification to a seeder and a lower seeding speed, can contribute to more diverse and sustainable alternatives to predominantly chemical-oriented weed management strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)598-608
JournalWeed Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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