The impact of ensiling at different moisture contents on germinability and viability of selected weed species’ seeds

John W Piltz, Kristy L. Bailes, Suzanne P. Boschma, Leslie A. Weston

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    Abstract

    Weeds are an increasingly significant issue inhibiting agricultural production worldwide. Forage conservation could form part of an integrated weed management program if ensiling killed weed seeds. In Experiment 1, seeds of five grass (Hordeum spp., Bromus diandrus, Bromus hordeaceum, Lolium rigidum and Vulpia spp.) and two broad-leaved temperate weed species (Echium spp. and Raphanus raphanistrum), that were either untreated, ensiled in pasture (Trifolium subterranean/Lolium rigidum mixture) forage for a minimum of three months, underwent 48 h in sacco digestion in steers or ensiled prior to digestion were tested for germinability and viability. In Experiment 2, seeds of eight tropical weed species (Cenchrus ciliaris, Rumex spp., Bidens pilosa, Sorghum halepense, Urochloa panicaoides, Paspalum dilatatum, Brachiara eruciformis and Choris truncata) were ensiled in Sorghum bicolor forage. In Experiment 3, L. rigidum and R. raphanistrum seeds were ensiled in either Medicago sativa forage wilted to 336.9, 506.5 or 610.7 g/kg dry matter; or in chaff to which water or water plus acid was added at rates to achieve 350, 450 or 550 g/kg dry matter content with lactic plus acetic acid added in the ratio of 3:2 at 80, 45 or 10 g/kg DM, respectively. In Experiment 4, L. rigidum and R. raphanistrum seeds were ensiled in cotton wool to which water or water plus acid was added at the same rates as in Experiment 3. Germinability of all seeds following ensiling was substantially reduced or nil. The extent of the reduction varied with species and experiment. In sacco digestion reduced germinability in Experiment 1, but to a lesser extent than ensiling; while ensiling plus digestion reduced germination rates to 0%.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number1639
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    JournalAgronomy
    Volume11
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2021

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