Phytosanitary conditions of differently biodiversed maize, hemp and faba bean crops
The investigations were carried out at the Experimental Station of Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy, in 2021. The soil of the experimental site is silty light loam Planosol. The aim of the study was to determine the impact of multi-cropping intensity on the prevalence and damage of diseases and pests, as well as on weed abundance and biomass. The methods of crop diversification were studied:
1. Maize mono-crop (KU);
2. Hemp mono-crop (KA);
3. Faba bean mono-crop (PU);
4. Maize and hemp binary-crop (KU + KA);
5. Maize and faba bean binary-crop (KU + PU);
6. Hemp and faba bean binary-crop (KA + PU);
7. Maize, hemp and faba bean ternary-crop (KU + KA + PU).
Contrary to expectations, the number of pests found in the hemp mono-crop (KA) and faba bean mono-crop (PU) was lower and the damage caused was lower than in the binary and ternary crops. Crop diversification has been an effective method of controlling faba bean diseases. The lowest abundance and intensity of Botrytis fabae and Ascochyta fabae were found in hemp and faba bean binary-crop (KA + PU). Binary maize and faba bean crop (KU + PU) were most effective in weed controlling, with the lowest number and biomass of weeds.