Integrated Weed Management

Authored by: Heinz Müller-Schärer , Alexandra Robin Collins

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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The heavy reliance on chemical weed control has become controversial in recent years due to an increase in herbicide resistance and adverse effects on human health, food safety, and the environment. As a result, integrated weed management, the combination of several control strategies (cultural, mechanical, chemical, biological, etc.), has emerged as an economically and environmentally sound solution to managing weed populations. The Convention on Biological Diversity and prominent researchers in the field stress that priority should be given to biological control as a component of integrated pest management. Biological control approaches require, but also provide, detailed insight into weed–crop interactions and how they are influenced by both the biotic and abiotic environments. They can, thus, be viewed as the basis for integrated production but in most cases will require being used in combinations with other weed management tools to achieve acceptable levels of weed control. Various types of integration can be envisaged, of which preventative measures will be most important for developing sustainable agricultural production.

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