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Building Integrated Weed Management Knowledge in Organic Systems


<OL> <LI> Develop a supplement to the extension bulletin E-2931 titled Integrated Weed Management One Years Seeding. This bulletin will include organic grower profiles, results from on-farm organic research trials that were conducted in response to knowledge gaps that were discovered in writing the original bulletin, and new information published on integrated weed management since February 2005. <LI>Conduct a workshop at the North Central Weed Science Society annual meeting. At the workshop authors of the IWM supplement will teach interested extension and university personnel how to effectively use the IWM guide and supplement in teaching integrated weed management to clientele in their states. <LI>Hold workshops based on the principles presented in the IWM supplement for organic growers in the North Central states. These meetings would be conducted by local extension educators.

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Non-Technical Summary: Aside from the information presented in the existing MSU bulletin Integrated Weed Management One Year's Seeding (E-2931), the dissemination of information regarding alternative weed management strategies continues to be listed among the top priorities of Michigan commodity groups. In evaluations of the MSU bulletin individual growers requested additional information in specific areas of organic and sustainable weed management in the form of a supplement. This project intends to disseminate information on organic and sustainable weed management strategies to extension educators, university faculty, growers, and agribusiness personnel. <P> Approach: Objective 1: Based on the responses received from the IWM surveys in the spring of 2006 we have summarized the subject areas where growers would like more information. These areas will become the topics of the new supplement. Proposed topics relating to weed management include: manure/compost, cover crops, economic thresholds, crop rotations, intercropping, thermal weed management, grazing, organic farmer profiles, on-farm weed management trials, and additional weed profiles. Our team plans to gather more information regarding these topics and convert it into digestible forms of text, graphs, and photographs that will be easily understood by growers. The inclusion of additional organic farm profiles ranked as a high priority among survey participants. To develop these profiles, we will travel to organic farms in Michigan and the surrounding states that have been selected through the IWM bulletin survey. During these visits growers will be interviewed about their experiences with various weed control measures. Numerous photographs will be taken during these trips that will be included in the supplement to illustrate some of the practices that these growers use to readers of the supplement. Bulletins will be produced and distributed through the Michigan State University Extension Bulletin Office. We also intend to reach a wider audience by publishing articles related to the IWM supplement chapters on the New Ag Network ( Objective 2: We will hold a workshop at the 2008 North Central Weed Science Societys (NCWSS) annual meeting on integrated weed management. The focus will be on the topics presented in the supplement. Attendees of the session will receive a copy of the supplement and a CD containing figures and tables from the supplement so that material can be passed on to growers, students, and consultants. Extension specialists that are members of the North Central Weed Science Society have been very responsive to the original IWM bulletin. Their active participation in learning new integrated weed management information from the supplement will provide each of them with additional resources to promote sustainable and organic weed management in their states. Surveys will be distributed immediately following the NCWSS workshop to gauge the impact of our presentation. Objective 3: In 2008 we will cooperate with local extension educators to conduct workshops across the North Central states to spread the information presented in the IWM supplement to organic producers and other interested parties. Presentations at the workshops will be accompanied by a copy of the IWM supplement. We plan to hold a total of ten workshops in conjunction with local extension educators and university personnel. Our goal is to reach 250 organic and sustainable producers. It is our hope that the overall increase in practical knowledge related to sustainable weed management will encourage experimentation with and implementation of sustainable techniques on their own farms. Impact will be accessed using surveys at the conclusion of the programs.

Renner, Karen
Michigan State University
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