Managing Weeds in Organic Row Crops

managing weeds organic

Two new SARE videos highlight effective organic weed management practices from a 1,600-acre corn and soybean farm in South Dakota.

In Ecological Weed Management at Johnson Farms, farmer Charlie Johnson explains how he and his family use late planting, patience, diversity, and a six-year crop rotation, in combination, to manage weeds on their farm.

The late planting allows management of early-emerging weeds through tillage, and the crops, once planted, emerge faster.

Managing Weeds in Organic Corn and Soybeans goes into more detail on how the crop rotation works to manage weeds.  Johnson divides the planted acreage into six equal portions. First comes a nurse crop of oats. The next two years, those acres grow alfalfa hay, which acts as a smother crop.

Years four through six are row crops: soybeans-corn-soybeans. Combined with cover crops, pre- and post-emergence tillage, and monitoring, this approach uses diversity to control weeds throughout the entire rotation.

These two videos are the first in a new series of SARE videos that showcase various strategies used by real farmers to control weeds without herbicides.

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Tag(s): pest management

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