Outcome of On-farm testing of organic weed control strategies in Indiana

Nashville, IN - In this on-farm study, organic vegetable producer Dale Rhoads tried out several organic herbicide materials and flaming in conjunction with a ‘stale’ seedbed to reduce the time and cost of hand-weeding leafy greens beds. The materials tested were Matran 5 (now reformulated and sold as Matran EC), two different vinegar solutions diluted to 13% and 10%, and Burnout II.

These trials, performed in 2005, took place in salad green beds, where weeding is the most time consuming and least desirable farm task. The most problematic weeds on the farm are chickweed, hairy galinsoga, purslane and various grasses.

Results and practical applications: 
All of the test materials and methods reduced weeding time by at least 32% when used to create a stale seedbed.
In many situations the methods reduced weeding time by 75% or more.
The trials showed not only labor savings that may allow crops to be grown profitably in harder to grow weasons and/or make otherwise less profitable crops profitable due to a reduction in weeding time.
Outcome PDF: