Effects of three management strategies on the seedbank, emergence and the need for hand weeding in an organic arable cropping system

M.M. Riemens, R.M.W. Groeneveld, L.A.P. Lotz, M.J. Kropff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The effects of three different weed management strategies on the required input of hand weeding in an arable organic farming system, the weed seedbank in the soil and the emerging weed seedling emergence were studied from 1996 to 2003. Strategies were based on population dynamic models and aimed for (1) control of weeds as carried out in standard organic farming practice, (2) control of all residual weeds that grow above the crop and (3) prevention of all weed seed return to the soil. Under all strategies, the size of the seedbank increased during the conversion from conventional to organic farming systems. The increase under strategy 3 was significantly smaller than the increase under the other strategies. From 1999 onwards, the weed densities in plots treated with strategy 3 became significantly lower than the weed densities in plots treated with the other strategies. The time needed for hand-weeding required to prevent weed seed return, in addition to the time needed in standard organic farming practices, reduced during the course of the study. A management strategy aimed at the prevention of seed return (strategy 3) can reduce the size of the increase of the seedbank, which is usually observed after transition from conventional to organic farming. This study provides unique real-world data that are essential for evaluating population dynamic models. The results may contribute to the development of weed management systems based on `no seed¿ threshold strategies and to a further decrease in the dependence on herbicides.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)442-451
JournalWeed Research
Volume47
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Keywords

  • soil seedbank
  • winter-wheat
  • rotation
  • tillage
  • communities
  • cultivation
  • populations
  • intensity
  • dynamics
  • flora

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