Organic farming is a fast growing-industry in the UK. There are now some 870
organic producers, farming a total of approximately 50,000 ha, or 0.3% of the
total UK agricultural area (UK Soil Association figures). Overall if subsidies
and the premium prices paid for organic produce are taken into account, the
profitability of organic farming is equivalent to the conventional system.
Weeds are the greatest challenge to profitable organic farming facing the UK
industry. Perennial weed problems in particular are increasing and in many
instances have been the cause of complete crop failure. Integrated weed
management using mechanical, crop suppression and rotational methods is
accepted methodology but this system is not able to effectively control all
We will be carrying out some research into these weed problems with the aim of
improving systems and techniques for control of annual and perennial weeds. I
would value your input on the methods you have found to be most effective for
the control of weeds and especially perennials. What is the place of
suppressive crop cultivars in weed control? Are they more likely to be damaged
than less suppressive cultivars if used in conjunction with mechanical control
methods? Which mechanical methods are most effective and how much does soil
type influence your choice of control method (and crop planted)? Any other
ideas you may have on the subject?
Thanks in advance for your help, I will compile a list of all the ideas I
receive and post it on Sanet later.
IACR-Long Ashton Research Station
Department of Agricultural Sciences
University of Bristol
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