Cultural Weed Management Research

Current and Recent Ohio State Projects on Weed Control

Quantifying and predicting the effects of ecological weed management strategies on the organic agroecosystem to inform farmer decision making 

Free Online Tool: Many EWM strategies require trade-offs. To help farmers examine these trade-offs in light of their specific farm conditions and priorities, we have developed an interactive online tool. The tool incorporates user responses with existing data on the performance of various EWM strategies over time. The software is free and available online: 
Read more here. 

Field Study: The field component of this study began in spring 2017. We are studying the effects of intense tillage on soil health and on weeds present in the field and the seed bank. 

Soil Balancing

For most farmers and scientists, soil balancing refers to the theory and practice of attaining an optimum soil ratio of the plant nutrients calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K). Many row-crop and vegetable farmers have reported greater ease in managing weeds as the ‘balance’ of their soils improved. A cross-disciplinary team of Ohio State researchers is investigating the effect of soil balancing on weed populations, soil health, crop production, economics, and more. Read more here:

Weed Control in Pasture Management with Timed Mowing

Several mowing treatments were studied. Data from the 2017 growing season indicated that mowing (at any time) significantly reduces weeds in pasture. The most effective mowing strategy in this study were June/August. For farmers who can only mow once, September, July or August were the most effective mowing times. Study led by Mark Landefeld, OSU Extension, Monroe County.
Read more here. 

Evaluation of In-Row Weed Cultivators in Organic Soybeans and Corn

During the 2002 growing season, several in-row weeders were tested on row crops. Equipment included a finger weeder, tine weeder, wiggle hoe, rotary cultivator, and Bezzerides cultivator. The finger weeder and tine weeder were most effective, but the researcher found the wiggle hoe difficult to operate, and had mixed results with the rotary and Bezzerides cultivator. Due to the low running speed required to operate this equipment without damaging the crop and the low rainfall during the test year, running this equipment in 2002 was not economically advantageous. Different efficiency results may happen in years with average rainfall.
This study was sponsored by the Organic Farming Research Foundation. Lead investigator was Alexandrou Athanasios. 
Read more here.