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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Organic crop production's top research priority: Pestiphytology

item Webber, Charles - Chuck
item Taylor, Merritt
item Shrefler, James
item Brandenberger, Lynn
item Boydston, Rick

Submitted to: American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/28/2009
Publication Date: 3/28/2009
Citation: Webber III, C.L., Taylor, M.J., Shrefler, J.W., Brandenberger, L.P., Boydston, R.A. 2009. Organic crop production's top research priority: Pestiphytology [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science-Southwestern and Rocky Mountain Division, March 28-31, 2009, Tulsa, Oklahoma. p. 89.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Pestiphytology is the study of pest plants, commonly referred to as weeds. In a recent national survey, weed research was designated as the top research priority by organic producers. Manual weed control is a costly practice that can quickly decrease return on investment, while the absence of weed control can eliminate all profits. Federally developed guidelines (National Organic Program, 2002) for organic certification resulted in consistent standards across the U.S. for the benefit of producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers, and consumers. Certified organic crop production is more than a list of do's and don'ts of acceptable and prohibited inputs or practices. Instead, it is a holistic approach to sustainable and healthy food production to enhance the well being of the consumer, while protecting natural resources during the process. It is with the holistic approach that organic producers must integrate approved organic methods to control weeds. The purpose of this presentation is to provide an overview of weed control practices for organic production. Organic producers have a short, but growing list of organic herbicides to integrate into their existing weed control strategies that may include crop rotations, cover crops, planting systems, mulches, mechanical methods, and flaming. Organic herbicides include both natural pre-emergence and post-emergence materials. Whether using organic herbicides or cultural practices, many factors influence successful weed control, including weed species, plant maturity, application method, and timing.

Last Modified: 10/19/2017
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