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
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.”
us with comments, suggestions and questions.