Integrated Weed Management – Strategies & Solutions

Saturday, January 25, 2020
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm

Workshop Description

“Many little hammers” is often used to describe the process of weed control in organic crops.

No matter the crop or the scale of production, effective weed management is the cumulative effect of many little things done right.

A truly integrated weed control approach is a year-long process that is influenced by almost every decision made on the farm. Seed selection, input choices, equipment maintenance, tillage timing, soil health, harvest practices, and post-harvest handling all influence weed pressure.

As technology advances, and as our understanding of soils, crops, and weeds progresses, we do have new tools and techniques available. Some require significant investments, while others are simply management tweaks.

This workshop will focus on innovations in weed control from this holistic perspective, drawing on innovations from tool and equipment manufacturers, as well as scientific research and on-farm experimentation and ingenuity. Although many examples from field crops will be featured, the principles explored will be applicable to operations of all types and scales – whether you’re covering 60 feet in a pass or 6 inches!

Topics covered will include:

  • timing is everything
  • minimize blank spaces (in time and space)
  • maximize crop/weed size differential
  • understand critical weed control periods
  • the role of soil fertility in weed control
  • new science and new technology

Photo above: Under the canopy of no-till organic soybeans in early August.

equipment

Foreground: A roller-crimper for “no-till organic” production.
Background: A rotary hoe for early-season weed control.

rye cover crop

This rye cover crop has been roller-crimped in preparation for soybean seeding.

rotary cleaner

A rotary cleaner allows weed seeds to be removed from the field and separated from the grain before storage/shipping.

buckwheat

Buckwheat cover crops provide weed control and improve soil tilth.

Speaker: Rob Wallbridge

Rob Wallbridge gained his first weed control experience in his mother’s garden on the family dairy farm, and soon graduated to plowing matches and ridge-till corn and soybeans cultivation.

First-hand weed control failures (and occasional successes) continued through 15 years of organic vegetable production.

As an organic inspector, Regional Field Manager for Organic Meadow, and currently the Organic Specialist for Thompsons Limited, Rob has had the opportunity to learn about weed control from leading farmers, equipment dealers, and researchers from across North America.

He is always on the lookout for new tips and tricks to help keep farmers one step ahead of “plants out of place”.