Moringa oleifera Lam. (moringa hereafter) is cultivated as a new summer super-forage field crop in Israel, yet no weed control protocol has been developed for it. The objective of the study was to develop an integrated weed management (IWM) practice for the moringa agro-system in arid and semi-arid regions like the Mediterranean basin. We tested various herbicides applied pre (PRE) and post (POST) crop emergence and cultivation methods for weed control, with an emphasis on crop safety. The PRE herbicides were the most effective and safe control mean. Their application resulted in minor (<5%) crop fresh weight reductions and weed cover area, compared with the con-trol. The POST herbicides were also effective, yet their crop safety level was lower and non-con-sistent in some treatments. Generally, the finger weeder was less effective than the herbicide treatments and caused higher fresh weight reduction. However, this means was more effective when applied at earlier stages. Management and environmental conditions had a high impact on the moringa growth; hence, these aspects should be considered. Our results show the potential use of different herbicides and non-chemical tools and set the basis for a future IWM protocol for moringa. The wide range of options offered here can ensure economic and environmentally viable solutions for this new crop.
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- Finger weeder cultivation
- Integrated weed management
- Post-emergence herbicides
- Pre-emergence herbicides