Submitted to: Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture Conference Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
A survey was funded by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture to determine how farmers make decisions about weed management and what factors influence these decisions. The questionnaire was designed by the Leopold Center Weed Issue Team and conducted by the Iowa Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Agricultural Statistics. Approximately 33 percent of the 3000 questionnaires mailed were returned in usable form. The average size of farm represented in the survey was 433 acres and the average age of farmer was 56. Typically, only two tillage trips were made and growers estimated that there was more than 25 percent residue cover after planting on 85 percent of the soybean acres and 83 percent of the corn acres. Growers reported that herbicides were the most important component of their weed management system and were assessed as very effective 51 percent of the time. Other weed management strategies were assessed as very effective only 24 to 31 percent of the time. Only 73 percent of the corn was cultivated and 18 percent rotary hoed. Yet 16 percent of the acres received an unplanned postemergence herbicide application. Soybeans received significantly less mechanical weed control when compared to corn, yet 19 percent of the acres were treated with unplanned postemergence herbicide applications. University recommendations were deemed very important in herbicide selection decisions by only 17 percent of the survey respondents, while dealer recommendations were very important to 47 percent of the respondents.