Q&A

DEAR NEW FARM:
I've grown organically since 1985. I would be interested in a weed control class. While my problem is troublesome, some of the larger growers in my area have worse problems with wiregrass and have asked me for advice. It would be great to be of help to them.

Laura

 

DEAR LAURA:
The course we are moving forward with right now is our organic online transition course, the initial phase of which we plan to introduce sometime in February.

Klaas and Mary-Howell Martens have written a wonderful early season weed control series for us, which we will be running late this winter. We've also begun work with several partners on a biologically based weed management research program.

We asked farm manager Jeff Moyer for his input regarding organic controls for wiregrass. Here’s what he had to say:

“Wire grass is not a problem for most farmers this far north, so my experience is—none. However, any perennial weed like wiregrass can be a burden for organic growers. Once a farm is converted to organic and a diverse rotation is established, it has been my experience that perennial weeds seem to disappear and annuals take over. This is due to the rotation of the crops as well as the constant use of tillage and cover crops. Take thistle, another problem perennial we do have. A heavy dose of cover crops (buckwheat and rye) along with successive tillage over about 18 months will remove thistle. I can only think that a similar approach with appropriate covers and tillage would also work on wiregrass.”

NF

 

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