Weed Management

tractor
Interseeding

Weeds are a very prevalent problem for grain growers.  Rotation of crops is one of the best ways to keep weeds at a minimum, but there are other strategies for dealing with weeds, including  inter-seeding grains with legumes and grasses that will compete with weeds and increase fertility.  This will keep weeds at a minimum by creating competition, and will allow growers to plant one year’s grain crop at the same time as the next year’s grass or hay crop.  In addition, when you mow down the grain crop in the fall, its stubble will catch snow and help with moisture conservation.  Competition will also be greater if you can plant crops like spring wheat early (by mid-April) so that your wheat can get ahead of its competitors.  Many growers also use mechanical cultivators like tine-weeders or the inter-row cultivator shown in the video below.

This is a great instructional video from the University of Maine’s Weed Ecology program on controlling and reducing weeds in grain crops.  It includes information on springtime harrowing, using competitive cultivars, seeding rates, row-spacing, and the use of inter-row cultivators.