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ARS Home » Plains Area » Brookings, South Dakota » Integrated Cropping Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #323472

Title: A new perspective with weed management

item Anderson, Randal

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2015
Publication Date: 1/28/2016
Citation: Anderson, R.L. 2016. A new perspective with weed management. No-Till on the Plains Proceedings, Salina KS, January 29-30, 2016.

Interpretive Summary: No-till provides a multitude of benefits for agriculture, such as increasing land productivity (especially in semiarid climates), regenerating soil health, and improving resource-use-efficiency. Herbicides are critical for successful no-till, yet, herbicides have some negative consequences. Resistant weeds are increasing costs of weed control, and environmental contamination is a risk. In the past 20 years, advancements in understanding weed population dynamics and systems design have strengthened weed management. With this knowledge, we are developing no-till cropping systems that require less use of herbicides, and are pursuing a new perspective of managing weeds with a nature-based approach.

Technical Abstract: No-till cropping systems are increasing land productivity. Herbicides are a crucial tool for weed management in no-till, but weed resistance is decreasing control efficacy and increasing input costs. Producers are seeking a broader perspective with weed management. One approach is to disrupt weed population growth with complex rotations. Cover crops can supplement this approach by suppressing weed growth and reducing weed establishment. Improving soil health with no-till and crop diversity also increases crop tolerance to weed interference. Producers following cropping systems based on these strategies are controlling weeds with 50 to 70% less herbicides. Because of these cultural advancements, scientists and producers are striving to develop a ‘herbicide-free’ no-till system.