by Dr. Charles Geddes
As the snow begins to melt, growers everywhere wait eagerly
to get back to the land. This is often a time to plan out the coming growing
season, and secure seed, fertilizer, and chemicals, among a wide range of other
organizational tasks. Growers invest a large amount of money in crop inputs,
but the investment is often unsecure and subject to environmental conditions
and pest pressures.
Choosing to rely solely on herbicides for weed management
can result in increased selection pressure for herbicide-resistance, and
potentially reduced crop tolerance to competition from weeds surviving or
emerging after the herbicide application. However, investment in non-chemical
weed management tools can be a difficult decision to make, economically
speaking. Non-chemical weed management options often result in increased immediate
investment of money or time, and potentially reduced profit margins in the
short term in exchange for longer-term sustainability. However, an investment
in cultural weed management can reap dividends in the long-term due to
mitigation of herbicide-resistance (which is rarely assigned a monetary value
in economic analyses).
Cultural weed management includes a wide range of tools used to prevent weed problems. Some examples include increased seeding rates, reduced row spacing, crop rotation, cover cropping, among many others. The decision to include cultural tools in your weed management toolbox starts before the crop is planted, and almost always before weeds are a visual or aesthetic problem in the field. It is important to consider cultural weed management options in your plans for the upcoming growing season to help reap the benefits of reduced selection pressure for herbicide-resistance.
Created March 27, 2019 | Category: Farming Tips