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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOLOGICALLY AND ECOLOGICALLY BASED KNOWLEDGE FOR INTEGRATED WEED MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS Title: Integrated Weed Management for Organic Field Crops

Author
item Davis, Adam

Submitted to: The New Ag Network
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: February 2, 2006
Publication Date: March 2, 2006
Citation: Davis, A.S. 2006. Integrated weed management for organic field crops. The New Ag Network. Available: http://ipm.msu.edu/new-ag.htm.

Interpretive Summary: Organic farmers identify weeds as their primary production problem. Successful management of weeds in organic production systems depends on applying integrated weed management principles. The central guidelines for applying integrated weed management in organic field crops are: 1) target all weed life stages, and 2) use multiple, complementary tactics. An important concept currently missing from most integrated weed management toolkits is weed seedbank management. Most weed control effort in organic systems is directed at killing plants in the seedling stage, whereas weeds are often allowed to produce seed in the field. Improved weed seedbank management in organic field crops will require tools for collecting and destroying the weed seed rain, creating suitable habitat for weed seed predators, and mastery of stale seedbed techniques. When both the weed seedbank and weed seedling survival are reduced, weed management in organic production systems becomes an attainable goal.

Technical Abstract: Organic farmers identify weeds as their primary production problem. Successful management of weeds in organic production systems depends on applying integrated weed management principles. The central guidelines for applying integrated weed management in organic field crops are: 1) target all weed life stages, and 2) use multiple, complementary tactics. An important concept currently missing from most integrated weed management toolkits is weed seedbank management. Most weed control effort in organic systems is directed at killing plants in the seedling stage, whereas weeds are often allowed to produce seed in the field. Improved weed seedbank management in organic field crops will require tools for collecting and destroying the weed seed rain, creating suitable habitat for weed seed predators, and mastery of stale seedbed techniques. When both the weed seedbank and weed seedling survival are reduced, weed management in organic production systems becomes an attainable goal.

Last Modified: 12/25/2014
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