Focus on ecological weed management : what is hindering adoption?

L. Bastiaans, R. Paolini, D.T. Baumann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

154 Citations (Scopus)


Despite increased concerns regarding the heavy reliance of many cropping systems on chemical weed control, adoption of ecological weed management practices is only steadily progressing. For this reason, this paper reflects on both the possibilities and limitations of cultural weed control practices. Cultural weed control utilises a number of principles, predominantly: (i) a reduced recruitment of weed seedlings from the soil seedbank, (ii) an alteration of crop¿weed competitive relations to the benefit of the crop and (iii) a gradual reduction of the size of the weed seedbank. Compared with chemical control, the general applicability, reliability and efficacy of most measures is only moderate, and consequently, cultural control strategies need to consist of a combination of measures, resulting in increased systems complexity. Combined with the trade-offs connected to some of the measures, this hampers large-scale implementation. It is argued that tailoring cultural weed management strategies to the needs and skills of individual farmers would be an important step forward. Research can aid in improving the utilisation of cultural weed control strategies by focussing on a broadening of the range of available measures and by providing clear quantitative insight in efficacy, variability in outcome and trade-offs of these measures.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-491
Number of pages11
JournalWeed Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • intercropping system
  • spring wheat
  • farming systems
  • lolium-rigidum
  • united-states
  • aerobic rice
  • crop density
  • competition
  • suppression
  • herbicides


Dive into the research topics of 'Focus on ecological weed management : what is hindering adoption?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this