Thursday, June 10, 2010

Crop Rotations for Weed Control

Crop Rotations for Weed Control
Crop rotation is the temporal diversification practice of growing a sequence of plant species on the same land.

Crop rotation can be a valuable part of an integrated weed controls strategy. Weed populations utilize specific ecological niches that are similar to the crops on which they proliferate, or they take advantage of conditions associated with that crop.

Sequences of crops, particularly those with different life cycles and management requirements, cause the opportunity to take advantage of a system for which they are particularly adapted.

Summer annual weeds, for example predominate on a corn/soybean rotation because both crops and weeds are summer annuals.

Because crops rotation provides continuous and evenness of a wider diversity of species is favored.

Weed population ecology is affected by three interacting groups of extrinsic factors.
-Management factors
-Weather
-Interactions with other organism (insects, pathogens, other plants, herbivores)

Together, these interacting biotic and abiotic factors produce shifts in weed populations overtime, and it is difficult to separate the effects of the rotation itself from the various crops.

In the few studies examining the effects of rotated crops apart from those rotating herbicides, crop rotation usually led to reduced weed population.
Crop Rotations for Weed Control
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