Research

Evaluation of summer cover crops as weed suppressive mulches

The objectives of this project were to:
 
1. Evaluate several different cover crops and cover crop mixtures for quick establishment, contribution of N for subsequent crops, minimal immobilization of N after cover crop kill, susceptibility to being mechanically killed by mechanical methods, and weed control potential at three North Carolina
 

Controlling weeds in organic crops through the use of flame weeders

Several recent developments have resulted in the need for a new examination of flaming as a nonchemical method of weed control. First, there has been an increase in the number of soybean producers growing organic soybeans for the edible soybean market. These producers need a method of weed control that does not rely on chemicals. Second, new technologies in burner design and the use of water shields have increased the efficiency and effectiveness of flame weeders in destroying weeds while at the same time decreasing the harmful effects of heat on the crop plant.

Flame weeding in organic vegetable production

Flame weeding has been a controversial issue since it was introduced 58 years ago in North America. Today it is a bigger topic than ever. The idea behind flame weeding is to kill weeds with an intensive wave of heat, without disturbing the soil or harming the crop root system. Since all plants are composed of tiny cells filled largely with water, a thin blast of heat directed at the stalk will boil the water within the cell. The pressure generated by this expanding water will then explode the cell it self, rupturing a cross section of the stalk.

Weed control with green manure and cover crops

Weeds pose one of the most important threats to crop production. Losses in both yield and quality of crops due to weeds, as well as costs of weed control, constitute an enormous economic problem in crop production. Weeds have a major influence on the production decisions made by producers. Additional land, labor, equipment, fuel, herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, fertilizer, and irrigation water may be required to maintain economical production when weeds are present. 

OBJECTIVES

On-farm testing of organic weed control strategies in Indiana

Nashville, IN - In this on-farm study, organic vegetable producer Dale Rhoads tried out several organic herbicide materials and flaming in conjunction with a ‘stale’ seedbed to reduce the time and cost of hand-weeding leafy greens beds. The materials tested were Matran 5 (now reformulated and sold as Matran EC), two different vinegar solutions diluted to 13% and 10%, and Burnout II.

Methods to breed field corn that competes better with weeds on organic farms

Elkhorn, WI - In 2006, researchers at the Michael Fields Agricultural Institute (MFAI) tested methods for evaluating corn for its ability to compete with weeds, using corn that was bred under organic conditions with weeds at MFAI, and compared with commercially available organic corn, and corn bred under conventional conditions.

Cover Crops for Weed Management in Organic Vegetables

In the summer of 2000, we received a research grant from the Organic Farming Research Foundation to study over-seeded cover crops in summer vegetables to control weeds. We conducted this study at the WSU Vancouver Research and Extension Unit (WSU VREU), and intended to study the influence of summer over-seeded cover crops on vegetable crop production and weed populations in an organic

Development and Evaluation of Biologically-Integrated Conservation Tillage Systems for Organic Vegetable Production

A primary goal in developing environmentally sound and profitable farming systems has been to prevent soil degradation and erosion loss, and wherever possible, enhance soil quality through organic matter management. Conventional tillage practices currently used for vegetable production in the Willamette Valley involve from 5-8 passes over the field. For the past four years we have been working with vegetable growers in the Willamette Valley to develop an integrated system of vegetable production using winter annual cover crops and rotary strip- tillage.

Use of Walnut Hulls for Weed Control

Weed control was cited as one of the primary problems for organic growers,

Controlling weeds using propane generated flame and steam treatments in crop and non croplands

The purpose of this study is to examine if thermal treatment of weeds will provide effective control on an established certified organic farm and whether steam treatment of crops and field borders in the spring, summer and fall can reduce annual, biennial and perennial weeds common along the Colorado Front Range. A flame treatment will be compared to a steam treatment efficacy for the control of weeds and insects in alfalfa.

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