Organic farmers recognise that every element of farming is inter-linked, and that good rotational design produces healthy soil, healthy plants and good yields. Crop rotation is the cornerstone of organic farming practice. Rotation and forward planning are also important for managing weeds. In this section we provide information on cultural methods aimed at preventing weed problems arising in the first place and which farmers and growers can plan to incorporate into their rotations.
The underlying principle of a preventative approach is to produce a constantly changing environment to which no single weed species can adapt and become dominant and unmanageable. In practical terms this means as diverse and long a rotation as possible consistent with the farm system and which prevents the weeds returning seeds to the soil seed bank.
We have provided sections on:
- crop rotation issues including fertility building, the use of manures, the use of cover and break crops, the use of intercrops and undersowing as well as the strategic use of fallowing.
- crop management including choosing varieties, seed rate, crop spacing and crop establishment
- the use of mechanical methods such as tillage and cutting regimes
- the use of livestock
- the importance of on-farm hygiene.
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