Agricultural Research Division of IANR


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Published in Resource Magazine. 17(1): 8-9. @2010 American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan Used by permission.


Organic producers and many conventional producers rank weed control as their number one production cost. For organic producers particularly, weed control has become increasingly important as organic production has increased its market share. According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, in 2005, for the first time, all 50 states had certified organic farmland, with over 1.6 million total ha (4 million acres) dedicated to organic production systems. In 2006, four major universities in the United States offered new degree programs in organic agriculture with the anticipation that, in five to six years, organic crops will comprise 5 to 10 percent of U.S. food production. The increase in the number of hectares/acres of crops grown organically has brought with it a growing need for more labor and for non-chemical methods of weed control.

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