Weeds, and especially perennial weeds like creeping thistle and coachgrass, are challenging in cereal production as they may reduce crop yield severely. In organic cropping, perennials are mainly controlled through intensive soil tillage, which may cause unwanted impacts locally and globally. Conventional integrated cropping has been relying on glyphosate for decades (especially if ploughing is omitted). In near future glyphosate may meet stronger regulations and may even be banned in EU and Norway. The goal of project SUSWECO is to develop new measures and strategies against weeds without intensive soil tillage and minimal herbicide use. Recent tools with minimal soil disturbance, root cutters, will allow combination of mechanical weeding and subsidiary crops. We will test if new bioherbicides and tools can be part of strategies to kill both weeds and overwintering subsidiary crops before new crop is sown in spring. Furthermore, project will develop machine vision that can enable precision weeding of perennial weeds in cereals with subsidiary crops. Precision weeding will reduce impact of herbicides and mechanical tools significantly as the weeding will be conducted only where weeds represent a true threat. In SUSWECO we will make use of the competitiveness in crop species, focusing on various subsidiary crops, and new mechanical weeding tools. Our approach will enable a beneficial plant cover through the autumn and winter, which in turn will reduce loss of nutrients and increase the carbon content in farmers soils. SUSWECO is coordinated by Norwegian University of Life Sciences. It is funded by Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri and the project partners Kverneland Group AS, Felleskjøpet Agri and Myhres Maskinomsetning. Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Norwegian Agricultural Extension Service, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and Research Institutes of Sweden also participate.
Perennial weeds cause major concern in both integrated and organic cereal production due to risk of yield reductions. Control of perennial weeds is primarily done by intensive tillage in organic farming, whereas conventional farming for decades has relied on herbicides as glyphosate, particularly in reduced tillage systems. Glyphosate can soon be restricted or even banned in EU and Norway.
Project SUSWECO will develop new weeding tools and strategies for control of perennial weeds in cereals without or with minimized use of herbicides or intensive tillage. Novel tillage tools. root cutters, that cause minimal soil disturbance will make it possible to combine use of subsidiary crops and mechanical weed control. We will test if bioherbicides (e.g. pelargonic acid) and a specially adapted harrow can be parts of strategies killing both subsidiary crop and weeds before new crop is established.
Site-specific weed management (SSWM) can significantly reduce environmental loads of uniform chemical and mechanical weed management by applying control measures only at the weed patches in the field. The project will work on machine vision enabling site-specific management of perennial weeds in cereals with subsidiary crops.
We will also assess impact on soil quality and energy consumption of selected strategies. We will communicate with end users and stakeholders during project. New knowledge will be disseminated nationally and internationally.
SUSWECO is coordinated by Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU). It is funded by Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri and the collaborative partners Kverneland Group AS, Felleskjøpet Agri and Myhres Maskinomsetning. Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN), Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO), Norwegian Agricultural Extension Service (NLR), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) also participate.
FFL-JA-Forskningsmidlene for jordbruk og matindustri