Development of an integrated weed management strategy

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Development of an integrated weed management strategy

Published on
May 22, 2018

Integrated weed management (IWM) is the way to go for sustainable and resilient agriculture. The project IWMPRAISE aims to support and promote IWM in Europe. Weed management in Europe will become more environmental friendly if the concept of integrated weed management takes better hold on European farms.

Integrated Weed Management (IWM) is a complex system approach in which many tools and tactics are combined to manage weeds. In order to support farmers in defining integrated weed management strategies we propose a framework consisting of 5 different pillars for integrated weed management. Each pillar contains a list of tactics. The tactics affect one or more parts of the weed life cycle (figure 1) or affect the weed-crop interaction. The framework was developed based on a literature interview and expert interviews in participating countries.

Figure 1: Integrated weed management tactics may affect one or more axes in the weed life cycle. They may prevent the establishment of seedlings from the seedbank (axis 1), reduce the impact established weeds have on the crop (axis 2), or reduce the weed seed/bud return to the soil.
Figure 1: Integrated weed management tactics may affect one or more axes in the weed life cycle. They may prevent the establishment of seedlings from the seedbank (axis 1), reduce the impact established weeds have on the crop (axis 2), or reduce the weed seed/bud return to the soil.

Some quotes from expert interviews performed throughout Europe:

    Successful IWM strategies will combine tactics from all or most of these 5 pillars of the IWM Framework (Figure 2):

    1. Diverse cropping system for increased or equal crop yields or profitability compared to conventional systems
    2. Cultivar choice and establishment: Selecting weed-suppressive and tolerant crops
    3. Field and soil management, enhancing crop growth
    4. Targeted control tactics to disturb weeds life cycle
    5. Monitoring & evaluation
    Figure 2 Five pillars of Integrated Weed Management (blue) with examples of weed management tactics and the key mechanism with which the tactic contributes to reduce weed pressure in the crop.
    Figure 2 Five pillars of Integrated Weed Management (blue) with examples of weed management tactics and the key mechanism with which the tactic contributes to reduce weed pressure in the crop.