Farmers have long relied on herbicides to control weeds in row cropping systems. But as consumer preferences change, many farmers are seeking to eliminate or reduce their use of synthetic herbicides where possible. Managing weeds without herbicides can be daunting, and it requires producers to understand the biology and behavior of problem weeds in order to develop control strategies that exploit their weaknesses.
In two new videos from SARE, Charlie Johnson shares how he and his family control weeds on 1,600 acres of organic corn and soybeans in Madison S.D. Ecological Weed Management at Johnson Farms and Managing Weeds in Organic Corn and Soybeans are the first in a series of new SARE videos featuring farmers who use ecological strategies to control weeds without herbicides.
In Ecological Weed Management at Johnson Farms, Johnson explains how late planting, patience, diversity and a six year crop rotation all play a role in managing weeds on his farm. “There is no such thing as a weed-free organic field, and there’s no such thing as a weed-free farm,” says Johnson.
Watch Ecological Weed Management at Johnson Farms on YouTube:
Watch Managing Weeds in Organic Corn and Soybeans on YouTube:
Learn about the full Manage Weeds on Your Farm video series here. The series is a companion to SARE’s Manage Weeds on Your Farm, a definitive guide to understanding agricultural weeds and how to manage them efficiently, effectively and ecologically. Manage Weeds on Your Farm shows you how to outsmart your weeds by identifying the right tactic for the right weed at the right time, which will reduce as much as possible the labor required, while ensuring your weeds don’t impact crop yields. Download your free copy or order it in print today at www.sare.org/weeds.