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Keywords:

  • allelochemicals;
  • environment;
  • weeds;
  • insect pests;
  • diseases;
  • crop rotation;
  • mulching;
  • cover crops

Abstract

Allelopathy is a naturally occurring ecological phenomenon of interference among organisms that may be employed for managing weeds, insect pests and diseases in field crops. In field crops, allelopathy can be used following rotation, using cover crops, mulching and plant extracts for natural pest management. Application of allelopathic plant extracts can effectively control weeds and insect pests. However, mixtures of allelopathic water extracts are more effective than the application of single-plant extract in this regard. Combined application of allelopathic extract and reduced herbicide dose (up to half the standard dose) give as much weed control as the standard herbicide dose in several field crops. Lower doses of herbicides may help to reduce the development of herbicide resistance in weed ecotypes. Allelopathy thus offers an attractive environmentally friendly alternative to pesticides in agricultural pest management. In this review, application of allelopathy for natural pest management, particularly in small-farm intensive agricultural systems, is discussed. Copyright © 2011 Society of Chemical Industry