UNL CropWatch Dec. 22, 2010 UNL Extension Workshop Will Cover Organic Weed Control

UNL CropWatch Dec. 22, 2010 UNL Extension Workshop Will Cover Organic Weed Control

Dec. 22, 2010

A Jan. 8 UNL Extension workshop will help organic producers learn more about incorporating crop rotation for better weed management.

The workshop, Managing Weeds with Crop Rotations, will feature Randy Anderson, weed ecologist for the Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, at Brookings, S.D. The workshop will be from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hardin Hall on UNL's East Campus in Lincoln.

Anderson has developed a weed management approach based on disrupting weed population dynamics with cultural tactics. In conventional agriculture, this approach has reduced herbicide use 50% while still managing weeds effectively, said Liz Sarno, UNL Extension educator and organic project coordinator.

Anderson is now pursuing a similar approach for organic systems; his long-term goal is to develop a continuous no-till system for organic farming.

The workshop will include a presentation that describes principles of weed dynamics that can be used for designing rotations to suppress weed population growth. A prototype organic rotation will be presented. Following the workshop an organic farmer's roundtable will discuss 2010 on-farm research results.

On-farm research was done using field size plots and the farmer's own equipment. Farmers investigated topics from using a flamer to control weeds, crimping small grain cover crops then drilling-in soybean, intercropping, nutrient management on organic farms and planting an aphid resistant soybean variety.

"This is a great opportunity for farmers looking to control weeds with fewer inputs," Sarno said. "Farmers that are transitioning to an organic farming system will have an opportunity to interact with long-time organic farmers to learn about their cultural practices."

Researchers and educators will be on-hand to answer questions and discuss results.

This is a free event sponsored by the UNL Organic Working Group and the Organic Crop Improvement Association, Nebraska. Please call Pat at (402) 584-3837 to reserve a place. For more information about the workshop or roundtable, call Sarno at (402) 309-0944, esarno2@unl.edu