Weed management

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  • Of the many books that have been written about weed management, most have focused on the use of herbicides. This volume is different. Instead of providing information about chemical weed control technologies, the emphasis here is on weed management procedures that rely on manipulations of ecological conditions and relationships. By focusing on ecologically based methods of management, we have been able to provide in-depth treatment of subjects that most weed science books treat only briefly.

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  • Weeds severely affect crop quality and yield. Therefore, successful farming relies on their control by coordinated management approaches. Among these, chemical herbicides are of key importance. Their development and commercialization began in the 1940's and they allowed for a qualitative increase in crop yield and quality when it was most needed. This book blends review chapters with scientific studies, creating an overview of some the current trends in the field of herbicides.

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  • This book, now in its third edition, began almost 25 years ago when Weed Ecology: Implications for Vegetation Management was published in 1984. That text concentrated on the need for farmers, foresters, rangeland managers, and the researchers who advised them to understand better the biology of weeds and the role people play in creating and maintaining weeds in agriculture and other production systems. We were assisted in that first effort by the writings of many early scientists, such as J. L. Harper, H. G. Baker, and E. J.

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  • The ongoing need for new agents to control weeds has stimulated the search for new photosynthetic inhibitors. We described in this chapter a variety of compounds presenting this type of activity. The natural products have been explored toward this end resulting in the identification of compounds with various structural motifs. Such an approach has resulted in the discovery of photosynthetic inhibitors with new modes of action. This, in turn, can be helpful in dealing whit resistance a problem to be faced in weed management....

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  • Our goal in writing this book was to describe why weeds occur where they do. We have made no attempt to discuss their management and control: there are excellent texts available for that. Rather, we think that students should understand how and why weeds fit into their environment. This text presents ecological principles as they relate to weeds. Ecology is central to our understanding of how and why weeds invade and yet there are few books that make this connection. That is the niche we hope to fill.

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  • Nowadays, chemical pesticides are the traditional solution to weed and pest problems, and although they have saved lives and crops, the greatest risk to our environment and our health comes from their use. Many significant problems from their use include con‐ tamination of the environment, the development of pesticide resistance in the target pest, the recovery of pest species, the phytotoxicity in crop fields, and the unacceptably high levels of pesticide/commodity residue in food.

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  • Biological invasions are one of the major threats to our native biodiversity. The magnitude of biodiversity losses, land degradation and productivity losses of managed and natural ecosystems due to invasive species is enormous. It has an adverse impact on our efforts to maintain biodiversity and on our conservation programs, and thus could create societal instability.

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  • An organic farm plan is central to the certification process. The farm plan describes production, handling, and record-keeping systems, and demonstrates to certifiers an understanding of organic practices for a specific crop. The process of developing the plan can be valuable in terms of anticipating potential issues and challenges, and fosters thinking of the farm as a whole system. Soil, nutrient, pest, and weed management are all interrelated on organic farms and must be managed in concert to be successful.

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  • It is possible to anticipate that promising inhibitors of photosynthesis will certainly be found by exploring the natural product pool. From nature, it is also possible that more active compounds with low toxicity and improved selectivity will be found. Promising photosynthetic inhibitors has also been revealed by the synthetic studies. One important challenge in the field of weed management is related to selectivity. In other words, chemicals should exert their action only on weeds.

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  • Some energy crop species are rich in toxic chemicals (such as allelochemicals in Jatropha). These toxic oilseed crops can enter the food chain inmanyways. Research studies on the toxicity have highlighted the potential negative impacts on the ecosystem, including other plantsthatmightgrowinthevicinity. Pesticidesimpacttheenvironmentatseverallevels(fromproductionoffertilizerstocultivation ofenergycrops).Studiesshow that theenvironmental footprint iscomparatively largerduring the cultivation process.

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  • Among the methods to control weeds, the use of herbicides or weed killers has become the most reliable and least expensive tool for weed control in places where highly mechanized agriculture is practiced. Since the introduction of 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in 1946, several classes of herbicides were developed that are effective for broad-spectrum of weed control (Böger et al, 2002; Cobb, 1992; Ware, 2000). It is well know that various compounds can interfere with photosynthetic electron transport....

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  • Moreover, during the past years, intensive and repeated applications of the same active ingredients cause the selection for and development of herbicide resistance (Devine & Shukla, 2000; Beckie, 2006; Gressel, 2009; Preston, 2004). Starting from 1960s, hundreds of weed biotypes have been reported as surviving herbicide application (Heap, 2011). Intensive efforts have thus been undertaken to discover new compounds with favorable environmental and safety features to selectively control weeds. In this regard, the photosynthetic system has been target aiming to find new weed killers.

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  • Though alternative methods of controlling insects, rodents, insect pests, pathogens, microbes and weeds have been developed, pesticides could not be replaced. The prosperous role of pesticides in the management of insect pests and diseases is indisputable. However, its nature of non selective toxicity towards other organisms and deposition in the environment warrants the legislation of usage. Pesticide use raises a number of environmental concerns.

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  • Ian and Jane Campbell of Barambah Organics near Murgon in Queensland produce, process and market certified organic milk. Their movement into organic production was born from a long family interest in sustainable agriculture and the need to create a point of difference for their products. “Customers are often surprised by the unique taste of our milk. It comes from a balanced and healthy diet for the cows on our chemical-free broadacre pastures,” said Ian. Soil health and weed control are important considerations and are carefully managed with compost manures and lime.

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