Research

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.

New cover crops and cover crop management for organic vegetable producers in Maryland (yr. 1)

This project was designed to provide the organic farmers with information they are seeking and have requested,
specifically regarding the use of cover crops other than cereal rye and hairy vetch. This information will help
organic farmers increase their farm productivity while using natural, sustainable, on-farm methods to minimize
weeds, maintain soil quality, and provide nitrogen.
The project has 3 objectives:
 

Targeted mowing as a weed management method increasing allelopathy in rye (Secaule cereale L.)

Winter rye (Secale cereale L.) is an outstanding cover crop in its suppression of early season weeds. This suppression has been largely attributed to allelopathy; ryeís allelochemicals inhibit weed germination and growth. However, its lack of suppression of late season weeds and its inconsistent results between years and regions hinder the use of rye as a cover crop. This study, which is Part I of a 2-year project, explores a management method that may be used to increase weed suppression of rye by manipulating its allelopathic activity.

Pages

Subscribe to Research