Weed Management Basics

A successful weed management program is based on four fundamental elements:  Prevention, Detection, Control and Restoration.  Combining several of the below strategies to manage a weed is called integrated weed management; an approach that almost always produces better results than relying on any one tactic alone.

Weed prevention is accomplished by taking steps to keep weeds from spreading into new areas.  Some common prevention tactics include:
  • using weed free hay, straw, seed, or mulch
  • cleaning contaminated vehicles and equipment
  • educating employees, neighbors about weeds
  • maintaining a healthy, competitive stand of desirable plants that limits the ability of weeds to establish and thrive.

Early detection/ rapid response program can help to locate and eliminate these new invaders.

Weed control can be accomplished using a number of different tactics:

  • Cultural control is achieved by manipulating factors that impact weed growth, such as crop rotation, planting date, row spacing, fertilization or irrigation   
  • Mechanical control is based on causing physical harm to weeds through tillage, mowing, mulching, burning, flooding or hand weeding
  •  Biological control is when other organisms (livestock, insects or diseases) are used suppress weeds; and
  • Chemical control impacts weed growth through herbicide application.

Establishing a healthy, competitive stand of desirable plants (crops, grasses, forbs, shrubs, etc.)