Cropping Systems Influence Biological Weed Control (fwd)

delannw delannw at
Tue Jun 27 17:00:37 EDT 2000

I have seen some evidence of this in organic soybean/corn fields in my area.
After a few years of organic methods, the weed problem is minimal.  Many
people who drive by the fields think they are chemically treated but the
grower plants and basically returns to harvest at the end of the season.  It
is still large scale monoculture but I am impressed at this effect.

In my own growing areas (minimal in size and organic for five years) I do
have some problems with weeds in areas amended with composted manure.  I got
a load two years ago, composted it for about a year and added it to one
area.  Saw the most incredible weeds.  Still dealing with them.  I did not
hot compost that manure.  The loads were dumped and allowed to heat up on
their own.  Never turned them.  Of course, this was cow manure and what was
delivered was mixed with bedding.  Some additional greens were thrown into
the pile over the summer and minimally mixed.  The following spring, the
compost was moved into specific planting areas.

I keep hearing that if you amend with manure, you're just going to have weed
While this isn't likely to stop me...aren't weeds part of life anyway (?) I
get a bit discouraged with the amount of handweeding that simply has to be
done to let crops thrive without weeds taking up nutrients.

With the amount of rain we have had in the last month, the weed problem is
only surpassed by the germination problems associated with the amount of
moisture we have received.  Couldn't till if I wanted to...too wet.

Areas that were not amended with composted manure - used cover cropping
instead -  do not have the same type of weeds or the recurrence of weeds
after they are pulled.  I basically till once, plant and hand pull the rest
of the season.
The soil here is pretty nice...sandy loam...usually drains well, structure
is incredible.

Del Williams
Farmer in the Del
Vegetables and herbs grown without drugs
Clifton IL

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