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 if regular interrow cultivation was applied. 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 such as common lambsquarters and other 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. The 20-cm potato height was the most important stage affecting potato yield loss due to weed competition. Potato yield losses due to weed competition were minimized when weeds were removed before the potatoes reached 20 cm or kept clean from this point forward. The results indicated that the critical weed-free period, when weed competition was detrimental to yield, started from planting and lasted until 25 d after flowering.
Nomenclature: Field violet, Viola arvensis Mur VIOAR, scentless mayweed, Tripleurospermum perforatum (Merat) M. Lainz MATIN, common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L. CHEAL, potato, Solanum tuberosum L. ‘Mirta’