Weed management for organic soybeans


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I shared this presentation with a group of organic soybean producers in northern IA on 2/5/2011

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Weed management for organic soybeans

  1. 1. Organic weed management for soybeans Joel Gruver WIU Agriculture J-gruver@wiu.edu (309) 298 1215
  2. 2. Organic weed management Crop Adapted from Bailey and Lazarovits (2003)
  3. 3. Conservation Augmentation3 broad goals of Activation ecological management Suppression
  4. 4. A nice flush of weeds ready for terminationWhat can we do to maximize this flush? Not all tillage operations have the same effect
  5. 5. Terminating spring planted oats with a soil finisher ~ 3 weeks before planting corn GOAL = biological activation and suppression
  6. 6. Are you familiar with the fence post principle? Zone of maximum biological activity and rapid residue decay Deeper burial does not optimize decay but sends weed seeds into deep dormancy and brings deeply dormant weed seeds to the surface where they germinate slowly
  7. 7. Who is sleeping in your soils?
  8. 8. Do any of you have experience with flame weeding? Terminating weeds without awakening sleeping seeds Dennis Leutke in MN and Larry Shrock in MO are experts
  9. 9. No pre-plant tillage for this experiment Ridge till and No-till soybean strips will require no pre-plant tillage this spring
  10. 10. Effective Integration oforganic weed = many little hammersmanagement No one hammer is likely to provide acceptable weed control
  11. 11. Cropping system strategies vs. Direct control strategies
  12. 12. Effective strategies disrupt weed life cycles
  13. 13. Cropping system strategies Crop rotation Tillage rotation Cover cropping Crop management Fertility management Manure management Field/equipment/seed sanitation
  14. 14. Optimize crop establishment tomaximize crop competitiveness-Select a well adapted variety (maximum leafinessand rate of canopy closure)-Delay field work (soil must be warm enough forrapid crop emergence)-Prepare a good seed bed (start out clean)-Reduce row spacing and increase populations-Row fertilizer?
  15. 15. Preventive management• Flush soil seed bank with fallow periods• Walk crops• Employ alternative equipment for mowing, pulling weeds• Weedy crops -> forage or cover crops
  16. 16. ABCs of mechanical and cultural weed management Page 11 – Steel in the Field A. Give the crop the advantage. B. Keep weeds on the defensive. C. Accept weeds that don’t really matter.Excellent reference describingequipment for direct control of weeds
  17. 17. Blind cultivation Blind cultivation normally occurs before the crop emerges orshortly after emergence
  18. 18. Are you getting full performance out of your rotary hoe? 30’ rotary hoe
  19. 19. Rotary hoes and flex-tine weeders are most effective when the soil has a crustSome crop damage is inevitable but care should be taken to avoid times when crop is most fragile
  20. 20. Inter-row cultivation
  21. 21. Guidance systems are available toincrease accuracy and reduce operator stress during cultivation
  22. 22. Innovative farmers have developed a wide range of cultivation tools
  23. 23. Fall planted small grains are very competitive against weeds
  24. 24. Do you see a cover crop?
  25. 25. Do you see a cover crop? Frost seeded clover the most tried and true cover cropping system in the Midwest region
  26. 26. Frost seeding options Sweet cloverMustard
  27. 27. We are going to try frostseeding mustard for the first time this spring
  28. 28. Klaas and Mary Martens, organic innovators in Central NY State, are reporting excellent results with frost-seeded confectionary mustard ahead of dry beans
  29. 29. Where are the soybeans?? Traditional organic weed management often comes up short during wet years A strong stand of cereal rye was incorporated~ 2 weeks before these soybeans were planted
  30. 30. Pioneering work by Jeff Moyer at the Rodale Institute has sparked considerableinterest across the country
  31. 31. Mechanical innovation Innovation all is key to making across the US conservation tillage systems work
  32. 32. September OctoberTillage System Experiment at the WIU organic research farm November January
  33. 33. March AprilEarly May Late May
  34. 34. Options for rolling cover cropsRodale design Cultimulcher
  35. 35. Early June 1 week later
  36. 36. ~2 weeks after planting
  37. 37. JulyAugust late September
  38. 38. Early NovemberPlot yields ranged from 51.6 to 58.6 bu/ac No significant differences between systems
  39. 39. November 2010 Significant foxtail pressure but almost no broadleaf weedsPlot yields ranged from 42-52 bu/ac
  40. 40. Bio-strip till September 2008
  41. 41. Early September 2009
  42. 42. Early November 2009Tillage radish on 30” rows with oats on 7.5” rows
  43. 43. Radish planted on 30” rows using milo plates in mid- August 2010
  44. 44. S. Carruthers
  45. 45. November 2010 Radish planted in volunteer cereal rye
  46. 46. Wheat + radish trial November 2010
  47. 47. July 17 planting
  48. 48. July 29 planting
  49. 49. Weed management for organic row crops
  50. 50. Weed management for organic row crops I recently received a grant to support documenting the weed management practices used by top-notch organic weed managers How should we go about finding top- notch organic weed managers? What questions should we ask them?