Yield losses in vegetable and arable crops caused by yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) in farmers fields in Switzerland
Cyperus esculentus has become a serious weed in Switzerland. Despite intensive awareness training unaffected farmers tend to underestimate the consequences of C. esculentus infestation, especially the potential yield losses. Hence, countermeasures are often taken hesitantly. Yield loss data from abroad is widely available. However, this data was of limited value to raise awareness in Switzerland, because its transferability to our production systems was questioned. To close this gap yield losses caused by C. esculentus were determined for different crops in farmers’ fields in Switzerland (2013-2016). Yield was assessed with and without C. esculentus infestation and its coverage was estimated. Standard herbicides had been applied in the fields. For sugar beet and potatoes average, actual yield losses of 67% and 34% were detected at C. esculentus coverages of 68% and 44%, respectively. High infestation (80-100%) in leek, onions and Brussels sprouts caused losses of 86%, 90%, 93%, accordingly. In carrots: A high infestation led to 61% yield loss. At these infestation levels yield quality was also negatively affected. In Switzerland, these figures are employed to further train farmers. The findings are presented here to make this more recent yield loss data available to colleagues facing the same problem in their countries.