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This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 97 No. 6, p. 1579-1583
    Received: June 29, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): randerson@ngirl.ars.usda.gov
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A Multi-Tactic Approach to Manage Weed Population Dynamics in Crop Rotations

  1. Randy L. Anderson *
  1. USDA-ARS, 2923 Medary Ave., Brookings, SD 57006


No-till systems have enabled producers to change crop rotations in the semiarid Central Great Plains. Previously, winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)–fallow was the prevalent rotation; now producers grow warm-season crops along with winter wheat and fallow. Initially, weed management was difficult in no-till rotations. However, an ecological approach to weed management, which integrates knowledge of weed population dynamics with cultural tactics and long-term planning, has enabled producers to control weeds with 50% less herbicides. This article explains the cultural tactics and ecological reasoning that led to this successful approach; our goal is to provide insight and ideas for other scientists and producers to plan multi-tactic weed management. The ecological approach emphasizes three goals related to weed population dynamics: enhancing natural loss of weed seeds in soil, reducing weed seedling establishment, and minimizing seed production by established plants. Cultural tactics used in this approach can be grouped into five categories: rotation design, crop sequencing, no-till, crop residue management, and competitive crop canopies. Success of the approach requires cultural tactics in each category.

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Copyright © 2005. American Society of AgronomyAmerican Society of Agronomy