This project will research, analyze and demonstrate the efficacy of several minimal tillage techniques to manage weeds generally, but especially amaranthus weeds, commonly referred to as pigweed, in fall grown vegetable crops that are usually direct seeded including spinach, beets, and carrots.
Through trials on three certified organic vegetable farms, the project will collect data about the efficacy of various non-chemical and minimal tillage methods to manage weeds, while analyzing the efficiency of labor usage and relationship to soil health, in order to inform growers about optimizing their integrated weed management strategy. In the process, we will also demonstrate how to deploy these techniques on the market garden/small farm scale to growers in the Northeast Kansas and the Great Plains region, and also attempt a wider reach through production of online materials demonstrating the techniques and discussing our findings.
Project objectives from proposal:
This project will:
- Trial several non-chemical, minimal tillage weed control practices to manage weeds in fall vegetable crops including spinach, beets, and carrots on three farms in Kansas
- Monitor various performance metrics of the different techniques such as soil organic matter, labor time necessary for adequate weed control and harvest yield to provide a detailed picture of management technique performance
- Compile and disseminate information to aid farmers in decision-making for weed management strategies
Demonstrate techniques and communicate results to this region and beyond through on farm field days, presentations at regional conferences and online videos