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|"Crop" means more than plant crops: "Crop" on this website refers to anything you grow or manage that has some benefit that can be harvested in some way. "Crop" includes pasture, animal crops (such as milk, wool and meat) plus what are more commonly called crops such as corn, citrus or carrots, barley, broccoli or bananas|
| Perennials, annuals, biennials
ANNUAL plants complete their life cycle in a year or less, starting from seed and producing another generation of seeds before dying.
BIENNIAL plants take more than one year but not always less than two years to complete their life cycle. The first year is often spent establishing and the second and later years are spent producing seeds. The plant generally dies after this.
PERENNIAL plants continue to live from one year to the next, often producing seeds each year.
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|Weed characteristic||What these characteristics may mean||Approach that may assist you against the weed|
|Large numbers of seeds|| Poor seedling establishment
Poor seedling survival
Low germination rates
| Make conditions (particularly competition) tough at germination
and soon after |
No bare ground around seeding and germination
|Seedheads break off with seeds attached||An effective method of dispersal with built-in insurance: If one of the seeds on the seedhead germinates but does not survive, there are several others that may when conditions are more favorable.|| Use windbreaks to confine seeds to specific areas |
Note: A windbreak need not be particularly tall, and it need not be permanent. It could just be a tall crop, such as corn (maize), to catch the seedheads and prevent them spreading
|Prickles on leaves or stems||The weed would be attractive to stock otherwise||Allow pasture to grow tall when the weed is starting to grow. The competition will beat some of the weeds. Others may survive by switching to upright growth and this usually means fewer prickles plus the weed will be softer and more palatable. A hard graze at an appropriate stage may get rid of it|
|Rosette at base||Weed is trying to commandeer nutrient, light and water, most likely for next year when it will seed|| Vigorous crop or pasture may outcompete. |
Make sure there are no bare patches
Grow a broad-leafed crop every few years
|Weed is tall compared to crop||The weed gets the light and shades the crop||Grow a taller crop, such as an older variety|
|Weed grows from a crown or other underground store||Base of plant is providing nutrient to kickstart the aerial part|| Exhaust reserves by slashing before any stem has returned the
nutrient it took to grow it.
For example, if you slash blackberries before they get to about 1 m high, there is a good chance you will exhaust them, although it will take a few slashings
| Remains after hard grazing
Survives hard grazing
|Unattractive to stock|| May need to graze the field hard to make the weeds stand out and
then remove weeds individually.
You may be able to make the weed more attractive by spraying it with molasses or by providing some high protein feed such as lupins so animals can digest it
|Weed is able to get from a germinating seed to producing seed quicker than the crop is||Weed has quick lifecycle so it can reproduce even in a short season|| Consider slashing the crop as a green manure or using it for
grazing, silage or hay making before the weed gets to seed. |
Then plant an out-of-season crop (a summer crop if the weed is in a winter crop and a winter crop if the weed is in a summer crop) and prepare the seedbed before any more of the weeds get to seed.
|Weed is very vigorous||A tough competitor that needs an even tougher crop|| Pick a suitable crop that can grow vigorously, preferably beating the
weed at its own game. |
For example, a vigorous variety of oats will beat most weeds or at least give them a run for their money. You may be able to take the weed out by grazing or by cutting the oats for hay.
Many oat varieties are suitable for grazing and regrowing to regraze. So, if you let the oats regrow and conditions are right you'll have a second chance at beating the weed by grazing or by cutting the oats for hay. Then it might be time to sow a summer crop and have a third go at beating the weed.
|The weed looks and behaves in a similar way to your crop||The weed possibly evolved in a cropping system similar to yours|| You will need to fine tune your management or find some
particular weakness in the weed or strength in your crop. |
For example, if you grow wheat or a similar winter crop and you have a problem with wild oats, you may have to delay sowing until the wild oats germinate. At this point, grazing, tillage or sowing the crop may kill a lot of wild oats.
You could also choose a tall variety of wheat that can outgrow the oats.
However, the best approach is probably to change crops and beat it with a suitable competitive crop that doesn't match the weed's patterns of growth.
|Weed has uses in other places||Weed may be an escaper from another farming or gardening situation and thus has had a positive value there, rather than being considered a weed|| Take advantage of the uses it has in other farming or gardening
situations by turning the weed into a benefit:
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