Integrated weed management
This integrated management combines all uses of the preventive methods to limit the emergence and development of weeds to facilitate, reinforce or even replace weeding.
Integrated weed management (IWM) basis relies on both crop rotation and tillage management. This basis is completed by agronomic practices during the intercropping (false seed bed techniques prior to planting, use of cover crops) or in prevention: geographical position of the different crops, cleaning of tools, field harvesting order, maintenance of the field borders, introduction of agroecological infrastructures …
These different complementary methods help to avoid major weed emergences (sowing date offset, false seed bed), maximize soil cover or compensate for mechanical weeding losses (sowing density increase).
Finally, farmers can strengthen their global strategy by integrating non specific choices linked to IWM but known for their significant incidence. Thus, the varietal choice (especially in cereal crops) usually relies on earliness and yield criteria but can also be based on the competitive aspects of the aerial system development. In the same way, manure hygienisation by composting or the choice of an irrigation system allowing hoeing can contribute, at their level, to weed control.
To enter into an agroecological global approach, these practices must be implemented in complementarity and with relevance to the farm’s principal issue; there is no universal combination. This global thinking, incorporating agronomic choices over several production cycles, included in a specific clearly defined soil-climate context, aims to limit a curative weeding by reducing weed effects on the crop.
References to explore
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). 2019. What is Integrated Weed Management?
Getting Rid Of Weeds (GROW). What is Integrated Weed Management?
Menalled F. 2007. Integrated Weed Management. Montana State University. 74p. [Power point].
NSW Government. 2019. Integrated weed management. NSW Government – Department of Primary Industries.