Integrated control of yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

01 April 2021 → 31 March 2025
Regional and community funding: IWT/VLAIO
Research disciplines
  • Agricultural and food sciences
    • Agricultural plant protection
    • Crop science
    • Agricultural land management and planning
    • Sustainable agriculture
    • Horticultural crop protection
Invasive weed Integrated weed control Sustainable weed control
Project description

Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) is a very competitive and prolific, invasive, perennial weed (producing large numbers of long-lived stem tubers) that are difficult to control. Since its accidental introduction in the early nineteen eighties, yellow nutsedge is becoming more prevalent and an increasing challenge in Flanders. Until 2016, yellow nutsedge was a quarantine organism with a duty to report to the FAVV (Belgium government). Since 2016, there is no longer a notification requirement, but control is mandatory. Specific farmer responsibilities are included in the IPM checklist, the most important of which is the duty to control, a ban on the cultivation of root, tuber and bulb crops on infested farmland and responsibility to report yellow nutsedge infestation when making farmland available for rental. It is apparent that the problem is often concealed because it can restrict the crop choice and opportunity for land rental. Meanwhile, the number of infested fields continues to increase.  Hence, effective integrated control strategies together with spread-mitigating measures, are urgently needed. Establishing a verified control and prevention strategy will surely equate to not only more farmer productivity but also help ensure production sustainability for the future.

There are two main goals to this project; 1) To limit the further spread of yellow nutsedge and, 2) To provide targeted control of existing nutsedge-infested field spots. To achieve these objectives, answers will be sought to the following crucial research questions . Is the main reproduction and distribution via tubers or do seeds also play a role? Which integrated control systems lead to the quickest reduction of tuber stock in the soil? To what extent do foliar herbicides kill mother tubers and newly formed tubers? How can we improve the efficacy and / or systemic action of foliar herbicides through choice of spray volume and treatment time? Are all clones and seedlings equally sensitive to soil and foliar herbicides? To what extent do animals or human activities assist the spread of this weed? Are there also effective innovative control methods?