Integrated Weed Management

Integrated weed management (IWM) is the control of weeds through a long-term management approach, using several weed management techniques such as:

Physical control:  The removal of weeds by physical or mechanical means, such as mowing, grazing, mulching, tilling, burning or by hand. The method used often depends on the area of weeds to be managed, and land usage.

Chemical control:  Herbicides can be an important and effective component of any weed control program as they offer the only practical, cost-effective and selective method of managing certain weeds. Because herbicides reduce the need for cultivation, they can prevent soil erosion and water loss, and are widely used in conservation farming.

Biological control: Biological control agents makes use of the invasive plant’s naturally occurring enemies, such as insects, nematodes, fungi, viruses or fish for the control of weeds to help reduce its impact. Sheep have been used to successfully to control tansy ragwort and goats and sheep can be used to control leafy spurge.

The objective in biocontrol is never eradication; its aims to reunite weeds with their natural enemies and achieve sustainable weed control at non-economic levels.

Cultural control:  Cultural control involves manipulating farming practices to suppress weed growth and production, while promoting the development of the desired plant.

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