Submitted to: Cool Season Food Legumes Linking Research and Market Opportunities for the
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/14/1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: In the future, farming systems will likely be operating with fewer pesticide inputs. For example, in the U.S. it has been proposed that by the year 2000, Integrated Pest Management (IPM) will be mandatory on 75% of all crop acreage and agricultural chemicals will be reduced by two- thirds. Of all the agricultural pesticides used in developed countries, almost 70% of these chemicals are herbicides. In Sub-Saharan Africa, at least 50% of the crop production inputs is for weed control. Simply stated, weeds dictate most crop production practices, and are the pests most often limiting crop production. The history of weed science has focused on weed control with herbicides because of their efficiency and low cost. Little attention has been directed towards integrated weed management in cropping systems. This chapter, for the first time, will provide research information and ideas that will integrate weed management practices to reduce herbicide use in food legume production systems. Alternative (in lieu of only chemical) methods of weed management in legumes are discussed in this chapter. These methods include prevention, biological, cultural, and mechanical, as well as chemical control. Three case studies are discussed that integrated several weed management methods into successful strategies for specific weeds or weed complexes. In the future, to significantly advance weed management strategies for cool season food legumes, present cropping systems will require manipulation and perhaps redesign. Investment of funds in large-scale, long-term cropping systems is imperative. World-wide, weed scientists do not have the knowledge, information, and techniques to allow a smooth and rapid transition to IPM.
Technical Abstract: The history of weed science has been dominated by the emphasis of effective weed control with synthetic herbicides. However, external pressures from social, economic, and environmental factions have suggested weed scientists develop a systems approach for managing weeds that integrates numerous control methods into crop production systems. Some of these methods include preventive, biological, cultural, mechanical, and chemical practices. When incorporated into a complete cropping system these methods must be socially acceptable, economically feasible, and environmentally sound. Integrated weed management in food legume production is a future research area requiring additional components that will include bioeconomic/predictive modeling, herbicide resistant crops, and precision agriculture.