Alternative Weed Management - 12/14/17
Among the strategies discussed for reducing the seed bank were:
- Manage amendments like manure and compost to ensure temperatures get high enough to kill weed seed
- Avoid bringing new seeds into fields on boots, tractors and tools
- Do not allow weeds to go to seed
Prior to planting:
- Preparation of stale beds including pre-irrigation to germinate weed seed
- Pre-plant destruction of newly germinated weeds through
- Shallow Tillage
- Steam (still in experimental phase)
- Establishing mulches with plastics or cover crop debris and other organic plant material
- Flaming prior to crop emergence – particularly slow germinating direct-sown crops like carrots
- Mechanical cultivation, including in-row weeding tools like the finger-weeders shown in this video from Cooperative Extension, Monterey County
Following Steve Fennimore’s presentation, there were field demonstrations of tractor and ATV-mounted flaming rigs from Star Route Farms and Gospel Flat Farm as well as a multi-purpose cultivation rig built by Gospel Flat’s Mickey Murch.
Interpretation during both the presentation and field demo was provided for Spanish-speaking crew and equipment operators.