Submitted to: Integrated Weed Management for Sustainable Agriculture
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 11, 1995
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Concerns over current practices have led many weed scientists and crop producers to seek alternative strategies for weed control. The goal is to develop systems that provide producers with more options for weed control. Herbicides have been a valuable tool and have provided benefits to the farm and urban communities. However, weed control should be viewed as an integrated science. Increased attention must be given to biological, cultural, mechanical, and preventative tools and techniques to manage weeds. Weed management implies a shift away from strict reliance on control of existing weed problems and places greater emphasis on prevention of propagule production, reduction of weed emergence in a crop, and minimizing weed competition with the crop. Weed management emphasizes integration of techniques to anticipate and manage problems rather than reacting to them after they are present. Weed management does not eliminate the need for control nor does it advocate that the best control techniques be abandoned. The goal is to maximize crop production where appropriate and optimize grower profit by integrating preventative techniques, scientific knowledge, and management skills. While additional knowledge is needed in all areas of weed management, the most important task of weed science is to increase knowledge of weed biology and ecology, creating a better understanding of weediness. This knowledge will lead to the use of appropriate management techniques rather than prophylactic approaches that produce short-term results, but may create or worsen long-term problems.