- Pest Management: general pest management
Perennial weeds, such as Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) or field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), threaten the sustainability of farms. Perennial weeds can establish from seed or extensive, deep creeping roots. They are vigorous and very competitive against annual crops. Based on farmer and other input, we designed a study to develop and disseminate information on Canada thistle management as a case study in perennial weed control. This project will address all three of the NCR-SARE board-based outcomes. In the short and intermediate term our project will induce changes in farmer knowledge and awareness of perennial weeds and skills and practices in managing perennial weeds using integrated management approaches.
Project objectives from proposal:
The project will be conducted on sustainable and organic farms. Information from our project will be disseminated through web-based decision-aids, a website, fact sheets, research reports, workshops on perennial weed management, field days, and mini-grants to farmers to evaluate these practices, and co-learning networks.
The objectives of our project are:
1) expand a farmer-based research and co-learning network;
2) develop effective and sustainable systems for perennial weed management; and
3) disseminate information and foster farmer adoption of site-specific sustainable best management practices.
Research will use an integrative, sustainable approach to weed management, integrating tillage, mowing, cover crops, decision-making tools, and biocontrol. The research builds on prior research – station and on-farm research. It expands the context of practices used for managing annual weeds to enhance activity against problem perennial weeds.