Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Organic and conventional farming methods compete to eliminate weed seeds in soil

Date:
April 21, 2011
Source:
Allen Press Publishing Services
Summary:
Weeds are hard to kill; they seem to come back no matter what steps people take to eradicate them. One reason is because of the persistence of weed seeds in the soil. Organic farming and conventional farming systems both have their methods of taking on weed seeds, but does one show better results than the other?

Weeds are hard to kill; they seem to come back no matter what steps people take to eradicate them. One reason is because of the persistence of weed seeds in the soil. Organic farming and conventional farming systems both have their methods of taking on weed seeds, but does one show better results than the other?

The authors of a study reported in the current issue of the journal Weed Science conducted tests that compared conventional farming with organic systems. This research determined weed seed viability under both systems over a two-year period in two separate locations.

To compare these systems, researchers buried seeds of two types of weeds, smooth pigweed and common lambsquarters, in mesh bags. Tests were conducted at agricultural research locations in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Seed viability was determined by retrieving seeds every six months over the two-year period.

Depth of seeds in the soil, environmental conditions, and soil management are among the factors that affect seed persistence. Under conventional soil management, tillage is an important practice that manipulates the depth of seeds and environmental conditions that can influence weed seed persistence. Organic soils have enhanced biological activity, with more carbon, moisture, and microbial activity that could lead to greater seed decomposition.

The organic soils in this study were higher in total soil microbial biomass than the soils of the conventional farming tests. This was measured by phospholipid fatty acid content. But the results of the tests did not lead researchers to conclude that this microbial biomass has a dominating role in seed mortality.

Pigweed seeds showed a shorter life span under the organic system in two of four experiments. Organic system lambsquarters seeds had a shorter life span in just one of the four experiments, while the conventional methods had the shorter life span in two of four experiments. These results leave an ambiguous answer to the question of which farming system can better eliminate seeds deep in the soil to control weeds from their source.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Allen Press Publishing Services. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Silke D Ullrich, Jeffrey S Buyer, Michel A Cavigelli, Rita Seidel, John R Teasdale. Weed Seed Persistence and Microbial Abundance in Long-Term Organic and Conventional Cropping Systems. Weed Science, 2011; 59 (2): 202 DOI: 10.1614/WS-D-10-00142.1

Cite This Page:

Allen Press Publishing Services. "Organic and conventional farming methods compete to eliminate weed seeds in soil." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421211238.htm>.
Allen Press Publishing Services. (2011, April 21). Organic and conventional farming methods compete to eliminate weed seeds in soil. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421211238.htm
Allen Press Publishing Services. "Organic and conventional farming methods compete to eliminate weed seeds in soil." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110421211238.htm (accessed September 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) — The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

Jury Delivers Verdict in Salmonella Trial

AP (Sep. 19, 2014) — A federal jury has convicted three people in connection with an outbreak of salmonella poisoning five years ago that sickened hundreds of people and was linked to a number of deaths. (Sept. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins