A field experiment was conducted in Okinawa, Japan from 2005 to 2007 to evaluate the effect of purple nutsedge and other weeds on turmeric growth and yield and determine the effective weed-control period to minimize crop interference. Treatments consisted of all weeds removed at 70, 115, and 160 d sequentially after planting (DAP), all weeds except purple nutsedge removed at these three dates, plus weedy and weed-free controls. Purple nutsedge density increased until 115 DAP when grown alone with turmeric and thereafter decreased markedly, whereas it increased only until 70 DAP when grown with other weeds. Weed reinfestation in turmeric that was sequentially weeded was high until 115 DAP, but thereafter was negligible. In the weedy control, the weed infestation was severe until 160 DAP. Plant height and leaf and tiller number per plant of turmeric increased rapidly from 70 to 160 DAP. Season-long weed infestation significantly reduced shoot biomass and rhizome yield of turmeric, but both were similarly high among treatments of weed-free turmeric, all weed removal, and removal of all weeds except purple nutsedge. Purple nutsedge (> 3,000 plants/m2) did not significantly reduce turmeric yield, whereas the combined weed species reduced yield by greater than 40%. Thus, crop interference by purple nutsedge was not high, and other weeds could be removed during 70 to 160 DAP for reduced labor requirements and higher yield of turmeric.
Nomenclature: Purple nutsedge, Cyperus rotundus L. CYPRO, turmeric, Curcuma longa L