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Agronomic and economic evaluation of weed management methods in organic herb and vegetable production systems

Kristiansen, Mr P; Sindel, Dr B and Jessop, Dr R (2003) Agronomic and economic evaluation of weed management methods in organic herb and vegetable production systems. In: Proceedings of the 11th Australian Agronomy Conference, CD-ROM. Australian Society of Agronomy.

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Document available online at: http://www.regional.org.au/au/asa/2003/c/13/kristiansen.htm


Weed management is reported to be a major constraint in organic agriculture. Organic growers also report a lack of information about non-chemical weed control. A series of field trials was conducted in lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and echinacea (Echinacea purpurea (L.) Moench) crops to evaluate a range of weed control methods commonly used in organic herb and vegetable production systems. The criteria for evaluating the methods were weed growth, crop yield and cost effectiveness.
Hand weeding, tillage and organic mulches (hay and pelletised paper) were effective to very effective at suppressing weeds. In general, good weed suppression was correlated with good crop yields; however, crop yields were reduced by tillage and paper mulch. Deducting the cost of the weed control method from the gross crop value caused a greater re-ranking of the treatment performance in lettuce than in echinacea. This is partly due to the different growing season lengths and market prices of the two test crops. The most cost effective methods for managing weeds in lettuce were tillage and hand weeding. When weed competition is low, the unweeded control treatment was also cost effective. In echinacea, hand weeding and hay mulch were consistently the most cost effective methods for managing weeds.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:weeds; vegetables; lettuce; herbs; echinacea; organic farming; hand weeding; tillage; hay; paper mulch
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Research affiliation:Australia > Rural Industries Research & Development Corporation
Related Links:http://www.une.edu.au/agronomy/weeds/organic/
Deposited By: Kristiansen, Dr Paul Erik
ID Code:567
Deposited On:19 Mar 2003
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:27
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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