New! Sign up for our free email newsletter.
Science News
from research organizations

Get help with integrated weed management

A new digital tool can help farmers plan weed control with reduced pesticide use

March 24, 2023
Aarhus University
A new digital tool can help farmers plan weed control with reduced pesticide use. The IWM Tool is one of the results of IWMPraise, a six-year European project on integrated weed management.

Pesticide use must be reduced. The EU has set a target to reduce pesticide use by 50% by 2030. Therefore, a strong focus on integrated weed management must be maintained in the coming years. When it comes to weeds, the focus has mainly been on improving the efficacy of pesticides, replacing or complementing them with mechanical treatments in the field.

In the last five years, the Horizon 2020 project IWMPraise -- Integrated Weed Management: PRActical Implementation and Solutions for Europe has conducted a large number of trials on a wide range of tactics that can contribute to integrated weed management. This has been done in collaboration between researchers, agricultural advisors and manufacturers of weed control equipment.

"There is a need for a paradigm shift in weed management. For too long, the focus has been on single treatments within a single growing season. There is a need for a more comprehensive mindset, where we focus on the long-term consequnces and thus on more crops and weed species at a time. This is what we have been working on in IWMPraise for the last six years. Not only have we explored many individual methods that can help us move in the right direction. We have also developed a very concrete and user-friendly tool that can help farmers and advisors plan their weed control and incorporate many more measures that can prevent weed problems, implement non-chemical control and minimize seed shedding as well as the build-up of the seed pool in the soil," says Professor Per Kudsk from the Department of Agroecology, who coordinated the IWMPraise project.

Practical tool for farmers and advisors

The high effectiveness of herbicides has meant that the same crops can be grown frequently without more weeds appearing in the field. Before the introduction of herbicides in agriculture, crop rotation had to be varied, as this is an effective way to avoid the multiplication of specific weed species. Less variety in the crop rotations has led to a dominance of fewer, but often more problematic weed species, which in turn increases the dependence on a now limited supply of herbicides. In addition, the increasing resistance to herbicides amplifies the need to use alternative methods of weed control. The negative effects of herbicide use can be counteracted by a more diverse weed control based on a conscious shift in management strategies. According to the researchers, this will require long-term strategies that do not only focus on the results of the next growing season.

"Integrated weed management has simply not been implemented in many places, and there have been no intuitive tools to help farmers. Switching from using herbicides to integrated solutions is complicated. It requires more work and knowledge, and it can be difficult to develop the right strategy on your own. We have therefore created a user-friendly tool that helps farmers design and implement IWM strategies in practice," says Senior Advisor Mette Sønderskov from the Department of Agroecology.

The IWM Tool, developed by Wageningen University and Research, is based on concepts from the IWMPRAISE project. It brings together the existing knowledge on different methods and available tools for integrated weed management. The tool is designed to help farmers and advisors to diversify the weed management strategies to fit their specific needs.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Aarhus University. Original written by Camilla Brodam Galacho. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Marleen Riemens, Mette Sønderskov, Anna-Camilla Moonen, Jonathan Storkey, Per Kudsk. An Integrated Weed Management framework: A pan-European perspective. European Journal of Agronomy, 2022; 133: 126443 DOI: 10.1016/j.eja.2021.126443

Cite This Page:

Aarhus University. "Get help with integrated weed management." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2023. <>.
Aarhus University. (2023, March 24). Get help with integrated weed management. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 21, 2024 from
Aarhus University. "Get help with integrated weed management." ScienceDaily. (accessed July 21, 2024).

Explore More

from ScienceDaily