Spring on an organic farm is arguably the most exciting time for organic farming. This season is filled with planning crops, pruning, sowing new seeds, and cleaning up fields. It’s a labor-intensive period that will set the pace for the growing season ahead.
One of the most important tasks is fertilizing and weed maintenance as your crops begin to take root. It’s necessary to begin weeding early to ensure these pesky plants don’t choke out new crop growth.
Common Organic Farm Weed Problems
Every organic farm has the challenge of controlling weeds. In conventional farming practices, weeding is not as necessary. The use of herbicides can tackle any sort of weed infestation. However, on an organic farm weeding takes a higher priority. This is to prevent,
- Damage to crops
- Decreased crop yield
- Poor soil quality
- Harboring problem pests and crop diseases
Luckily there are methods and tools organic farmers have at their disposal to help with weed maintenance.
1 - Cover Crops
This is also known as smother crops or green manure. These crops are typically a legume of some kind. They are not meant to be harvested but rather fill in the spaces around the crop you wish to harvest. This chokes out the weed’s ability to grow by significantly reducing the amount of free field space.
2 - Mechanical Weed Plowing
Mechanical weed plowing is the process of using a machine to disturb the soil where the weeds have taken root. One of the most effective tools on the market is the Einbock row crop cultivator. This machine dives into the soil bed, removing weeds and aerating the soil. For stubborn weeds, this is proven to be the best tool for the job.
3 - Increase Seeding Rates
By increasing the seeding rates, up to 1½ times the recommended rate, you can make a crop more competitive and help further deter weed growth. This method is best used in conjunction using an Einbock row crop cultivator. The increased seeding reduces the potential crop thinning that will occur when implementing mechanical weed plowing techniques.
Organic farming brings a new set of challenges as you learn to adapt your skills to this new style of farming. But the right equipment can help increase your crop yields and start you out on the right foot. If you are interested in more information about the Einbock farm equipment, the experts at Crop Fertility Services have you covered. They are the go-to Midwest Einbock distributor, simply give them a call or fill out their quick online form and a member of their team will be happy to answer any questions you may have.