Integrated Weed Management Principles: Reducing the Risk of Crop Failure

Integrated weed management (IWM) is a sustainable cost-effective approach to weed control that is constantly evolving. The approach combines many agronomic principles to favour crop competitiveness, create diversity in cropping patterns and prevents the introduction of new weed species. Using IWM creates an opportunity to use herbicides more judiciously, increasing economic returns and slowing the development of weed resistance to herbicides.

Protection Against Frost Damage

Frost risk is an important fact of life for agriculture. Freezing temperatures restrict the length of the growing season and are responsible for reductions in yield and quality of agricultural crops. Sensitive crops can suffer serious damage at temperatures above freezing as well. In either case, the minimum temperature is critical. Of all the weather factors affecting agriculture, minimum temperature is among the most variable from place to place. Adjacent fields and garden sites can have very different frost-free periods, and are therefore suited to different uses. Risk can be reduced by careful management of the land and effective reaction to forecasts. Late spring and early fall frosts usually involve minimum temperatures just slightly below freezing, It is in these situations that preventive measures can be most effective. By successfully averting a single freezing situation, the growing season may be extended by weeks.

Salt Tolerance of Plants

Plant species vary in how well they tolerate salt-affected soils. Some plants will tolerate high levels of salinity while others can tolerate little or no salinity. This brief fact sheet looks at how soil salinity is measured and categorized, and then presents a table delineating the salt tolerance of various types of plants, including field crops, forages, vegetables, and trees and shrubs.

Soil Quality and Moisture Conservation Benefits of Direct Seeding

Direct seeding systems can improve several factors affecting crop productivity. These include increased water infiltration, increased seedbed moisture, enhanced soil organic matter and reduced risk of oil erosion.