Claudio Rubione, University of Delaware, Weed Science and Mark VanGessel, Extension Weed Specialist; email@example.com
Integrated weed management (IWM) combines various methods to reduce or eliminate the effect of weeds on crop production over time, using a combination of practices that are most effective for solving specific weed issues. These weed management techniques form a “toolbox” in which “tools” can be integrated into a weed management plan catered to the particular farm and problem. The toolbox includes preventative, biological, chemical, cultural, and mechanical strategies. IWM also considers the weed species present and tailors strategies for these species.
In conventional crops, integrated weed management is not a replacement for herbicides. For many decades, herbicides have been the primary means of weed management in conventional crops due to their simplicity, effectiveness, and affordability. However, relying too much on a few herbicides has led to an increase in weed species that are not effectively controlled with the herbicide program or selection for herbicide-resistant biotypes. IWM approaches go beyond relying merely on herbicide rotation and mixtures. IWM programs use all available methods that will best solve the problem.
For more information on expanding your use of IWM, visit www.growiwm.org. Weed scientists across the region have developed an IWM manual titled “A Practical Guide for Integrated Weed Management in Mid-Atlantic Grain Crops” which can be found at: https://integratedweedmanagement.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/IWMguide.pdf?x71059