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Participatory investigation of the management of weeds in organic production systems (CTE0201)

{Project} Participatory investigation of the management of weeds in organic production systems (CTE0201). Runs 2002 - 2006. Project Leader(s): Turner, Dr Becky, Henry Doubleday Research Association .

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Document available online at: http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicweeds/index.php


The future uptake and success of organic systems will rely on being able to adapt and overcome production constraints that hamper the sector in an ever-demanding market. In terms of technical constraints to production, weeds have always featured as one of the primary issues concerning both farmers considering conversion and those already converted. Furthermore weed control has been highlighted as a research and development priority by the UKROFS board (1998) and by the Consultation of Organic Farming Research Priorities (2001). There remain a range of weed management challenges that need to be explored and resolved. For example control of ‘difficult’ weeds such as annual grasses and perennial weeds, and the integration of weed control measures into comprehensive management strategies for a range of crops. Constraints, potential solutions and priorities need discussing with all relevant stakeholders to advance organic production. Addressing these issues is critical to maintain the viability of the organic farming system in the current agricultural climate. The proposed review and decision making process will form the main objectives within this project;
1. What scientific literature is available relating to organic weed control?
2. What is the current level of weed infestation on farms and how are they being managed at present?
3. Which systems are being most constrained by weed competition and what are the main research priorities?
A participatory research and development (PRD) approach is ideally suited to take full account of farmer and stakeholder opinions focussing on the most important problems and addressing these in the context of the farmers’ own system. Farmer ideas and practical knowledge will be used in conjunction with sound science to expand and develop current and new management practices. Stakeholders would be invited to prioritise constraints and to formulate potential solutions as well as research plans to overcome them. Experiments to investigate proposed solutions would be carried out on-farm or on-station, as appropriate.
The project would pay particular attention to communicating results between all stakeholders in the organic community. Methods of dissemination would include technical leaflets, open days, workshops, popular press articles and where appropriate refereed journals.
The development of organic farming systems coincides with DEFRA’s policy objectives of encouraging sustainable, competitive and safe food production whilst enhancing biodiversity.
The project will take a participatory approach to problem solving in order to:
1. Review the scientific literature and other sources of information and gather knowledge relating to weed control from organic farmers.
2. Identify and prioritise main production constraints due to weeds
3. Facilitate interest groups of stakeholders.
4. Develop action plans to be trialed on-farm or on-station.
5. Disseminate the results throughout the organic community through open days, workshops, popular press articles, a technical booklet, the web and where appropriate refereed journals.

EPrint Type:Project description
Type of Facility:Other
Other Type:n/a
Keywords:weeds, participatory research, field trials, knowledge transfer
Subjects: Knowledge management > Research methodology and philosophy > Systems research and participatory research
Crop husbandry > Weed management
Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication > Technology transfer
Research affiliation: UK > Garden Organic (HDRA)
UK > Univ. Warwick, HRI
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC)
Research funders: UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Related Links:http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/hri2/research/weedecologyandmanagement/of0315/, http://www.organicfqhresearch.org/downloads/research_projects/participatory-project-weed-management.pdf, http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicweeds/downloads/stake2005.pdf, http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicweeds/downloads/CommunicationFocusGroup11032003.pdf, http://www2.defra.gov.uk/research/project_data/More.asp?I=OF0315&M=CFO&V=HDRA
Project ID:OF0315
Start Date:1 August 2002
End Date:29 July 2006
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:6754
Deposited On:10 Mar 2006
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:29

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