- Animal Production: animal protection and health, feed/forage, grazing management, grazing - multispecies, grazing - rotational, pasture renovation, range improvement, rangeland/pasture management, stocking rate
- Crop Production: conservation tillage, cover crops, drought tolerance, no-till, pollinator habitat, pollinator health, terraces, water management
- Education and Training: demonstration, display, extension, farmer to farmer, focus group, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, technical assistance, workshop
- Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
- Natural Resources/Environment: carbon sequestration, drift/runoff buffers, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, riparian buffers, wetlands, wildlife
- Pest Management: biological control, chemical control, cultural control, field monitoring/scouting, integrated pest management, prevention, weather monitoring, weed ecology
- Production Systems: dryland farming, integrated crop and livestock systems, organic agriculture
- Soil Management: composting, earthworms, green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, soil quality/health
- Sustainable Communities: analysis of personal/family life, quality of life, sustainability measures
In our semi-arid environment, chicory can quickly spread into adjoining pastures, crop and hay land, choking out desirable plants, creating unhealthy ground cover, and plummeting forage and crop production.
Livestock generally avoid the maturing plant. Marketing of forage products from an infested field is prohibited.
Chicory has historically existed where our farm is located, thus creating a vast accumulation of chicory seeds in our soils. Post-emergence herbicides have been typically not as effective as pre-emergence chemicals. Failed control methods generally propagate chicory further. Chicory has become prolific in many previously weed-free areas well beyond our farm’s location. Consequently, in 2019 Lawrence County listed chicory on the county’s noxious weed list.
While we have typically utilized conventional practices on Butte Vista Farm, our project was designed to demonstrate Integrated Weed Management’s (IWM) effectiveness in controlling chicory in side-by-side conventional and organic methodology operational processes. By blending and incorporating the five IWM strategies (preventive, cultural, mechanical, biological, and chemical) into real-life, doable applications, an effective, ecologically-sound, financially-viable solution that is suitable for nearly any agricultural operation could be demonstrated. Long-term operational sustainability through enhanced quality and production of the land, resource stewardship, and improved bottom line for the family farm then becomes more plausible.
- Apply and evaluate Integrated Weed Management practices to control chicory via methods that are readily-achievable by average producers, both short- and long-term, in accordance with conventional and organic parameters. Specifically:
a. Test weed control results on intensively-grazed and non-grazed test plots using varied rates of pre-emergence herbicides, post-emergence herbicides, and no chemical, and
b. Evaluate mowing at different intervals.
- Be mindful of not marketing infested hay.
- Share findings through field days, a website, social media, a newsletter, and an activity blog.