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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Frederick, Maryland » Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #405157

Research Project: Discovery and Development of Microbial-Based Biological Control Agents for Use Against Invasive Weeds in the United States

Location: Foreign Disease-Weed Science Research

Title: Challenges and emerging opportunities of weed management in organic agriculture

item DHAKAL, MADHAV - Rodale Institute
item ZINATI, GLADIS - Rodale Institute
item Fulcher, Michael
item FORNARA, DARIO - Rodale Institute
item MARTANI, ENRICO - Rodale Institute
item CONTINA, JEAN BERTRAND - Rodale Institute
item HINSON, PHILIP - Rodale Institute
item AFSHAR, REZA - Rodale Institute
item GHIMIRE, RAJAN - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Advances in Agronomy
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/12/2023
Publication Date: 2/7/2024
Citation: Dhakal, M., Zinati, G., Fulcher, M.R., Fornara, D., Martani, E., Contina, J., Hinson, P., Afshar, R., Ghimire, R. 2024. Challenges and emerging opportunities of weed management in organic agriculture. Advances in Agronomy. 184:125-172.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Non-chemical weed control is the most difficult and enduring challenge in organic crop production systems. Managing weeds below an economic threshold is critical, since most growers usually face substantial yield penalty during initial years of organic transition. There is renewed interest among weed scientists in realizing the benefit of using integrated weed management strategies that involve cultural, mechanical, biological, and biochemical approaches that further augment ecosystem services. In this chapter, we discuss current weed management issues faced by growers such as soil and water conservation goals, farming systems and farm characteristics, farmers’ perception of weeds, knowledge gap and reductionist approach to weed control, climate change impact and species shift, and technology availability and cost. We review the emerging opportunities such as cultural (cover crops, crop rotation, conservation tillage, agronomic configurations, sanitary measures, plant breeding, grain-forage systems), mechanical (hoeing, intra-row cultivation, hot and cold treatment, harvest weed seed control, flame weeding, electrocution, and abrasive grit), biochemical (bioherbicides, fatty acids, and allelopathic effect), biological (insect herbivores, plant pathogens, and microbial bioherbicides), and novel technologies (precision farming, lasers and robotics, and mapping and forecasting).