Thursday, July 18, 2024
General Agriculture

Biological Methods of Weed Control Guide

Biological method of weed control refers to the control or suppression of weeds by the action of one or more organisms, through natural means or by manipulation of the weed, organism, or the environment.

The most dramatic instances are those in which natural enemies of the weed species have been identified and are either introduced or encouraged.

With this approach, the Klamath weed is being controlled in the U.S.A with parasitic beetles; the prickly pear cactus has been controlled in Australia by the Argentine moth borer.

This approach is, however, most efficacious where single troublesome weed species is predominant.

Major developments in this area include biological control of weeds with vertebrate animals (microbial control), use of microorganism such as plant pathogens for weed control (microbial control) and live mulch.

Other areas with potential for biocontrol of weeds are exploitation of crop canopy, density and the allelopathic effects of both weeds and crops on weeds.

1. Live mulch

Live mulch is defined as a crop production system in which a food crop is planted directly in the living cover of an established cover crop without destruction of the fallow (cover crop) vegetation.

Perennial legume cover crops have been evaluated and found to be suitable for use as live mulch.

Live mulch crop production aims at the following;

Suppresses weeds.

Reduces weed seeds population in the soil.

Reduces loss of soil organic matter.

Provide favourable condition for earth worm activity.

Protect the soil from erosion.

Reduces soil compaction.

As additional fodder for livestock.

Advantages of using live mulch

Reduces the need to control weeds after harvest.

It prevents the establishment of those weeds that colonise fallow land.

2. Biological control within vertebrate animals

This involves the use of insects to control weeds. Example, the Klamath weed is being controlled in the U.S.A with parasitic beetles; the prickly pear cactus has been controlled in Australia by the Argentine moth borer.

This approach is, however, most efficacious where single troublesome weed species is predominant.

Advantages of biological control of weeds by insects

The effect is permanent.

It can be used in places that are not easily accessible to man.

It is cheaper in the long run.

It does not pose any risk of polluting the environment.

Disadvantages of biological control of weeds by insects

It is not suitable for food crop.

Unfavourable weather condition or presence of predators may prevent the insects from adapting to the new environment.

Inability of the appropriate growth stage of the insect to synchronise with the susceptible stage of growth of the target weed.

Read Also : Cultural Weed Management System Guide

3. Biological control of weeds with vertebrate animals

Animals have been used for suppressing vegetation for centuries. Pasturing land with sheep sometimes is an effective method for controlling certain weeds.

Sheep are able to suppress field bindweed on land seeded to Sudan grass for pasture. They eat the bindweed in preference to the Sudan grass, but they make good gain on the latter after eating down the weeds. Fish consumed algae in flooded fields.

Weed Control

4. Microbial weed control

Microbial weed control involves the use of microorganism such as fungi, bacteria, nematodes and virus. Microbial control of weeds involved the multiplication of pathogens in a controlled environment and spraying them on the target weed as mycoherbicides.

5. Allelopathy

Allelopathy is a term used to describe the detrimental effects of chemicals or exudates produced by one living plant species on the germination, growth or development of another plant species or microorganisms sharing the same habitat.

6. Plantcanopy

The main effect of plant canopy is to shade the weeds and limit their ability to carry out photosynthesis. Example, melon (Colocynthiscitrullis) and sweet potato can provide early ground cover and shade out weeds when intercropped with other crops.

Read Also : How to Understand and Purchase Toys according to the Age of your Kids

Agric4Profits

Benadine Nonye is an agricultural consultant and a writer with several years of professional experience in the agriculture industry. - National Diploma in Agricultural Technology - Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Science - Master's Degree in Science Education - PhD Student in Agricultural Economics and Environmental Policy... Visit My Websites On: 1. Agric4Profits.com - Your Comprehensive Practical Agricultural Knowledge and Farmer’s Guide Website! 2. WealthinWastes.com - For Effective Environmental Management through Proper Waste Management and Recycling Practices! Join Me On: Twitter: @benadinenonye - Instagram: benadinenonye - LinkedIn: benadinenonye - YouTube: Agric4Profits TV and WealthInWastes TV - Pinterest: BenadineNonye4u - Facebook: BenadineNonye

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