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Weed management practices and benefits in Conservation Agriculture systems

Code: 9781786765888
Gottlieb Basch and Fernando Teixeira, University of Évora, Portugal; and Sjoerd W. Duiker, Penn State University, USA

Chapter synopsis: Conservation Agriculture (CA) systems are often perceived as relying heavily on herbicides for weed management with no margin for herbicide input reduction. This perception results from production systems that are focussed mainly on the minimum soil disturbance component or no-till, but neglecting crop diversity and permanent soil cover components. This chapter analyses chemical and non-chemical methods of weed control, identifying the opportunities and challenges posed by CA. The chapter discusses soil seedbank dynamics, the mechanisms governing weed soil seedbank depletion and the need to prevent a weed or group of weeds becoming prevalent. The chapter also examines the importance of introducing crop diversity through crop rotation and/or intercropping, the resulting varying pressure on weeds, both spatially and temporally, and the benefits in weed management associated with mulching and cover crops. The chapter provides an analytical review of the adoption of CA in Sub-Saharan Africa by smallholder farmers, focusing on the challenges posed by weed management. Finally, the chapter looks ahead to future research trends in this area.

DOI: 10.19103/AS.2019.0049.04
Table of contents 1 Introduction 2 Weed control under CA 3 Smallholder farmers’ strategies for weed control in developing countries: sub-Saharan Africa 4 Future trends 5 Conclusion 6 Where to look for further information 7 References

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