Non-chemical methods of     weed control: benefits and limitations     Stephen MossRothamsted Research, UK
Farmers in EU will have to use     more non-chemical control         methods because:1. Fewer pesticides available due to ...
Loss of pesticides in European Union      How many more can we afford to lose?                               Directive 91/...
Black-grass:    “Atlantis” (mesosulfuron+iodosulfuron)             800 g/ha (2x field dose)                  ALS TSR Proli...
EU Thematic Strategy for Pesticides:     Sustainable use directive‘Member states should promote low pesticideinput pest ma...
Non-chemical control              of grass-weeds•   Crop rotation•   Ploughing•   Delayed autumn drilling•   Spring croppi...
Black-grassAlopecurus myosuroides
Non-chemical control of         Alopecurus myosuroides       (black-grass) in winter wheat                          Number...
Higherseed rate
Rating the effectiveness of non-chemical    control methods for Alopecurus myosuroides            on same basis as herbici...
Weed controlBlack-grass      RRye-grass        RWild-oats        R
Why don’t farmers use more        non-chemical control methods?1. More complex to manage – time constraints2. Less effecti...
22 June 2010            Yielded                     Yielded           10.01 t/ha                   9.44 t/ha2.2 black-gras...
‘Enlightened’farmer’s gallery
“Ten years ago we were drilling Claire at 80 –120 seeds/m2 in August, and were getting 8.5– 10 t/ha. We thought we had cra...
IPM (including IWM)Why has uptake been so limited?   “IPM has a very successful history of   adoption by scientists, press...
Poor adoption of IPM/IWM – why?  “Too much knowledge, not      enough application”
‘TaylorReview,‘Science for a new age of agriculture’,                  2010“However, there is now widespread agreement tha...
Technology transfer issues    “…a lot of the eggheads in our research institutes concentrate on pure science and find it h...
“We believe it again goes, almost withoutsaying, that relying upon the same tiredmethods to diffuse IWM will not lead togr...
“Scientific research will be key tosecuring future food security” says theBBSRCfrom ‘Food: avoiding a global securitycrisi...
“The application of scientific research will  be key to securing future food security”  says Dr Stephen Moss
Influencing farmers  Getting farmers to do what you want by ensuring that they are willing to do what you want them to do ...
Thank youstephen.moss@rothamsted.ac.uk
Good Canadian advice“ Once viable IWM systems are developed they  must be demonstrated at the field level and a  consisten...
Stephen_Moss_Prague_June11
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Stephen_Moss_Prague_June11

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  1. 1. Non-chemical methods of weed control: benefits and limitations Stephen MossRothamsted Research, UK
  2. 2. Farmers in EU will have to use more non-chemical control methods because:1. Fewer pesticides available due to EU regulatory action, and lack of new MOA2. Increasing pesticide resistance, especially grass-weeds such as Alopecurus myosuroides3. New EU regulatory action requiring farmers to adopt Integrated Pest Management (IPM) http://www.pesticides.gov.uk (see European Union issues)
  3. 3. Loss of pesticides in European Union How many more can we afford to lose? Directive 91/414/EEC Comparative risk assessment and substitutionData supplied by the European Crop Protection Association, Nov 2009
  4. 4. Black-grass: “Atlantis” (mesosulfuron+iodosulfuron) 800 g/ha (2x field dose) ALS TSR Proline 197 mutation Three resistant populationsA susceptible population
  5. 5. EU Thematic Strategy for Pesticides: Sustainable use directive‘Member states should promote low pesticideinput pest management, in particular IntegratedPest Management………’‘…….with priority given wherever possible tonon-chemical methods of plant protection…..’‘…..setting quantitative targets and indicatorsaimed at reducing the impact of pesticides onhuman health and the environment.’
  6. 6. Non-chemical control of grass-weeds• Crop rotation• Ploughing• Delayed autumn drilling• Spring cropping• Fallowing• Prevent seed return and spread of resistant seeds• Mechanical weed control (harrowing or hoeing)• Competitive crops – Higher seed rates (or at least avoid low seed rates) – More competitive varieties – Narrower rows
  7. 7. Black-grassAlopecurus myosuroides
  8. 8. Non-chemical control of Alopecurus myosuroides (black-grass) in winter wheat Number of % reduction achieved Method comparisons Mean RangePloughing 25 67% - 20% to 96%Delayed drilling 16 37% - 64% to 82%Higher seed rates 15 30% + 8% to 53%Competitive cultivars 4 27% + 9% to 36%Spring Cropping 3 80% +70 to 90%Fallowing 1 70% +60 to 80% Based on review, by Lutman & Moss for Syngenta, 2009
  9. 9. Higherseed rate
  10. 10. Rating the effectiveness of non-chemical control methods for Alopecurus myosuroides on same basis as herbicides Label Method rating Ploughing MR Delayed drilling R Higher seed rates R Competitive cultivars R Spring Cropping MS Fallowing MR Meso.+Iodo. ‘Atlantis’ SCRD Effectiveness claims: S = >85%; MS = 75 – 85%; MR = 60 – 75%; R < 60%
  11. 11. Weed controlBlack-grass RRye-grass RWild-oats R
  12. 12. Why don’t farmers use more non-chemical control methods?1. More complex to manage – time constraints2. Less effective than pesticides3. Control levels more variable4. Control levels less predictable5. More expensive than pesticides6. No compensation following control failure7. May not reduce the need for pesticides8. Little visible evidence of success9. More risky (to consultant as well as farmer)10. Less return for supplier of pesticides11. May have adverse environmental effects12. Pesticides offer a ‘quicker-fix’13. Harder manual effort
  13. 13. 22 June 2010 Yielded Yielded 10.01 t/ha 9.44 t/ha2.2 black-grass heads/plant 5.3 black-grass heads/plant 170 seeds/plant 419 seeds/plant 450 wheat seeds 150 wheat sown/m2 seeds sown/m2
  14. 14. ‘Enlightened’farmer’s gallery
  15. 15. “Ten years ago we were drilling Claire at 80 –120 seeds/m2 in August, and were getting 8.5– 10 t/ha. We thought we had cracked it byextending the growing season, but the opencanopies quickly caused problems with grass-weeds. So now we are drilling later, at higherseed rates of 300 – 350 seeds/m2, and one ofthe first things we look for in a variety is howcompetitive it is against black-grass.” Duncan Andrews, Gloucestershire farmer Farmers Weekly 20 May 2011
  16. 16. IPM (including IWM)Why has uptake been so limited? “IPM has a very successful history of adoption by scientists, pressure groups and policy makers, but limited success in terms of adoption by farmers” IPM in developing countries: the danger of an ideal. Morse & Buhler (1997). Integrated Pest Management Review 2, 175-185.
  17. 17. Poor adoption of IPM/IWM – why? “Too much knowledge, not enough application”
  18. 18. ‘TaylorReview,‘Science for a new age of agriculture’,  2010“However, there is now widespread agreement that the focus of research funding and the accompanying mechanisms of reward and career opportunity have tilted the balance of agricultural science towards basic research and away from applied. This can severely compromise the translation of research into commercial practice. ”
  19. 19. Technology transfer issues “…a lot of the eggheads in our research institutes concentrate on pure science and find it hard to communicate their ideas widely or simply enough to change everyday life” Matthew Naylor, farmer, Farmers Weekly, 2009
  20. 20. “We believe it again goes, almost withoutsaying, that relying upon the same tiredmethods to diffuse IWM will not lead togreater adoption”.‘Investigating the human dimension of weedmanagement: new tools of the trade’Doohan, Wilson, Canales & Parker, 2010Weed Science 58: 503-510.
  21. 21. “Scientific research will be key tosecuring future food security” says theBBSRCfrom ‘Food: avoiding a global securitycrisis’ in the RASE book, ‘Working for thefuture of agriculture’
  22. 22. “The application of scientific research will be key to securing future food security” says Dr Stephen Moss
  23. 23. Influencing farmers Getting farmers to do what you want by ensuring that they are willing to do what you want them to do ‘Expert’ Farmer Stephen Moss,  Rothamsted Research
  24. 24. Thank youstephen.moss@rothamsted.ac.uk
  25. 25. Good Canadian advice“ Once viable IWM systems are developed they must be demonstrated at the field level and a consistent message must be given by multiple people at multiple forums over multiple years. Patience is required by all involved, as meaningful change is usually a slow process” ‘Ongoing development of integrated weed management systems on the Canadian prairies’, Blackshaw et al., (2008) Weed Science 56, 146-150

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