Maine, Michigan team looks to root weeds out of organic ag

Published: Nov. 3, 2018 at 6:55 PM EDT
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Scientists from universities in Maine and Michigan are getting a boost from the federal government in researching weed management on organic farms.

Organic farms use a more limited scope of weed management tools than conventional farms, and the weeds are a threat to crops and profitability. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is providing more than $1.9 million for the scientists to research weed controls on organic vegetable operations.

University of Maine weed ecology and management professor Eric Gallandt and Michigan State University sustainable vegetable production professor Dan Brainard are leading the work.

Gallandt is proposing a "cultural weed management" method that focuses on depleting the reserve of weed seeds in soil and using cultivation tools that reduce the weed populations over time.