A field study was conducted at Vezaiciai branch of the Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture from 1998 to 2000 to determine weed emergence dynamics in potato and to estimate the effect of different intervals of weed crop competition on potato tuber yield. Treatments varying in intervals of weed-free conditions and competition were laid out in a randomized complete block design with six replications. The greatest emergence of annual broadleaf weeds (62 to 86% of the season total) in the crop was observed in the period from potato planting until flowering. Emergence of winter annuals such as field violet and scentless mayweed was greatest in the period from the 20-cm potato plant height until harvesting. Competition was most detrimental to potato tuber yield in the periods from planting until flowering, from planting until 25 d after flowering, or for the entire growing season. Potato tuber yield decreased by 8.1, 8.4, and 6.4%, respectively, during these competition intervals compared to the weed-free treatment. The results indicated that the critical weed-free period, when weed competition was detrimental to yield, started from planting until 25 d after flowering if regular interrow cultivation was applied.
Nomenclature: Field violet, Viola arvensis Mur VIOAR, scentless mayweed, Tripleurospermum perforatum (Merat) M.Lainz MATIN, Potato, Solanum tuberosum L. ‘Mirta’