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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Integrated Weed Management Systems for Organic and Conventional Crops of the Southeastern Coastal Plain

Location: Crop Protection and Management Research

Project Number: 6602-22000-040-00
Project Type: Appropriated

Start Date: Oct 01, 2010
End Date: Sep 30, 2015

Objective:
1. Develop integrated systems of weed management for organic agronomic and vegetable cropping systems, such as peanut, cotton, cucurbits and dry bulb onion respectively, in the southeastern coastal plain. 2. Identify the ecological and edaphic factors affecting the reproduction, spread, and survival of invasive, herbicide-reistant, and herbicide tolerant weed pests of agronomic and vegetable crops in the southeastern coastal plain, including, but not limited to pigweeds, common bermudagrass, and perennial nutsedges. 3. Combine effective chemical and cultural control measures into integrated systems for the management of key species of herbicide resistant and invasive weeds of agronomic and vegetable crops in the southeastern coastal plain, such as pigweeds and Benghal dayflower.

Approach:
Research will be conducted to determine weed management practices that will: A) Manage weeds without conventional herbicides in organic systems and B) reduce reliance on a dwindling number of herbicide tools in conventional systems. Conventional weed management systems rely heavily on herbicides to minimize crop yield losses associated with weeds. Organic cropping systems have few approved herbicide options, and must rely primarily on weed control from cultural and mechanical practices. The occurrence of herbicide-resistant weeds has limited the efficiency of many herbicides in conventional systems. Studies will be initiated to evaluate a multi-tactic approach to managing weeds with a reduced reliance on herbicide tools. In the first objective, integrated weed management systems will be developed in organic agronomic and vegetable cropping systems. Cultural and mechanical weed management strategies will be employed to prevent seedling establishment and reduce propagule persistence in the soil. The second objective will determine the factors that affect the reproduction and persistence of herbicide-resistant and herbicide tolerant weed pests. Specific studies will include the effect of cover crops on weed establishment, growth, and fecundity, as well as determining the factors that affect persistence of the soil seedbank. The third objective is to combine effective chemical and cultural control measures into integrated systems for the management of key weed species. Weed growth and reproduction as affected by crop stand and presence of cover crops will be evaluated. Ultimately fulfillment of these objectives will improve grower profitability and reduce reliance on a limited set of herbicide resources that are rapidly declining in efficiency.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014
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