Focus Group for:
The context for the Systems Studies Group is that of developing weed management programmes within sustainable organic systems (economic, environmental and social). This will necessitate taking a systems approach to weed management, perhaps summed up in the phrase "the weed is the symptom" (i.e. how do weed problems reflect back on the system?). In this context the evolution of organic systems (pre-conversion, conversion, post-conversion) will be important.
• steer direction of work on the theme of Systems studies
• reach a consensus on work to be undertaken over the course of the project
• provide feedback on trial designs and results
• decide future work programme based on each year’s results
• monitor on-going programmes
Principle issues to
Specific themes arising on the stakeholder day were:
• defining or developing suitable methods for participation
• documenting farm histories and practices (audit systems and weeds)
• identifying important research questions for systems studies
• evaluating weed management techniques or programmes
1. Collection and collation of existing knowledge: to provide an underpinning to any future work. The main focus will be on dissemination and feedback of information.
2. Monitoring farming systems: a start will be made on ‘understanding’ organic systems, particularly with reference to their weeds. It was felt that describing the farming system was very important to be able to understand the workings and processes of the farm. Different mapping methods could be investigated and the group could comment on the approaches and their overall usefulness to the project.
3. Monitoring farmer experiments: as part of the monitoring process farmers would be asked about any on-farm experiments they were undertaking. This might give ideas for providing a range of options for farmers to experiment with in future. It might be possible for some on-farm monitoring to be undertaken if wanted or to focus in on some topics (e.g. undersowing) to gain a more detailed understanding
Group Minutes and Documents:
More details on group remit, the discussions held by the group, including details of the budgets available can be downloaded as pdf files from the system studies group documents pages.