Hostname: page-component-594f858ff7-c4bbg Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2023-06-07T13:58:36.269Z Has data issue: false Feature Flags: { "corePageComponentGetUserInfoFromSharedSession": true, "coreDisableEcommerce": false, "corePageComponentUseShareaholicInsteadOfAddThis": true, "coreDisableSocialShare": false, "useRatesEcommerce": true } hasContentIssue false

A Survey of Weed Management in Organic Small Grains and Forage Systems in the Northwest United States

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Nicole E Tautges*
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6420
Jessica R Goldberger
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6420
Ian C Burke
Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6420
Corresponding author's E-mail:


A lack of information regarding weed control, relative to conventional systems, has left organic growers largely on their own when devising weed management systems for organic crops. As interest in organic weed management increases, researchers need more information regarding the type and number of weed control practices undertaken on organic farms. A survey of certified organic growers was conducted in five states in the northwest United States to identify organic weed management programs and what grower and farm-operation characteristics were factors in weed management program design. Three types of weed management programs, with varying diversity in weed control practices, were identified. Stepwise binary logistic regression indicated that the likelihood of an organic grower using a more-diverse weed management program increased if the grower engaged in grain production and as the number of crops produced on an organic farm operation in 1 yr increased. The probability of operating a more-diverse weed management program also increased as a grower's education level increased. Organic hectarage operated was positively correlated with weed management program diversity, and with the adoption of cultural controls. Additionally, awareness of weeds as a factor causing yield loss was correlated with increased weed management program diversity. An increased awareness among researchers of the differing needs and abilities of organic growers in managing weeds on their farms will improve communication and outreach efforts when assisting growers with designing organic weed management programs.

Weed Management
Copyright © Weed Science Society of America 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Associate editor for this paper: Martin M. Williams, II, USDA-ARS.


Literature Cited

Anderson, RL (2010) A rotation design to reduce weed density in organic farming. Renew Agric Food Syst 25: 189195 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bastiaans, L, Paolini, R, Baumann, DT (2008) Focus on ecological weed management: what is hindering adoption? Weed Res 48: 481491 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bond, W, Grundy, AC (2001) Non-chemical weed management in organic farming systems. Weed Res 41: 383405 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bowman, G, ed (2002) Steel in the Field: A Farmer's Guide to Weed Management Tools. College Park, MD: Sustainable Agriculture Network Handbook 2. 16 pGoogle Scholar
Burton, M, Rigby, D, Young, T (1999) Analysis of the determinants of adoption of organic horticultural techniques in the UK. J Agric Econ 50: 4763 Google Scholar
Burton, RJ (2004) Seeing through the “good farmer's” eyes: towards developing an understanding of the social symbolic value of “productivist” behaviour. Sociol Ruralis 44: 195215 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carolan, MS (2005) Barriers to the adoption of sustainable agriculture on rented land: an examination of contesting social fields. Rural Sociol 70: 387413 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Carolan, MS (2006) Do you see what I see? examining the epistemic barriers to sustainable agriculture. Rural Sociol 71: 232260 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Daberkow, SG, McBride, WD (2003) Farm and operator characteristics affecting the awareness and adoption of precision agriculture technologies in the US. Precis Agric 4: 163177 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
DeDecker, JJ, Masiunas, JB, Davis, AS, Flint, CG (2014) Weed management practice selection among Midwest US organic growers. Weed Sci 62: 520531 Google Scholar
Dillehay, BL, Curran, WS, Mortensen, DA (2011) Critical period for weed control in alfalfa. Weed Sci 59: 6875 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Dillman, DA, Smyth, JD, Christian, LM (2009) Internet, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method. 3rd edn. New York: J. Wiley. 499 pGoogle Scholar
Doohan, D, Wilson, R, Canales, E, Parker, J (2010) Investigating the human dimension of weed management: new tools of the trade. Weed Sci 58: 503510 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Duram, LA (1997) A pragmatic study of conventional and alternative farmers in Colorado. Prof Geogr 49: 202213 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Entz, MH, Guilford, R, Gulden, R (2001) Crop yield and soil nutrient status on 14 organic farms in the eastern portion of the northern Great Plains. Can J Plant Sci 81: 351354 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Genius, M, Pantzios, CJ, Tzouvelekas, V (2006) Information acquisition and adoption of organic farming practices. J Agric Resour Econ 31: 93113 Google Scholar
Gomiero, T, Paoletti, MG, Pimentel, D (2008) Energy and environmental issues in organic and conventional agriculture. Crit Rev Plant Sci 27: 239254 Google Scholar
Goldberger, JR (2008) The experiences and perspectives of Washington's certified organic producers: results from a statewide survey. Sustain Pac Northwest Newsl 6: 58 Google Scholar
Goldberger, JR, Connor, S, Miller, J (2010) The experiences and perspectives of Idaho's certified organic producers: results from a statewide survey. Sustain Pac Northwest Newsl 8: 811 Google Scholar
Kaufman, L, Rousseeuw, PJ (2005) Finding Groups in Data: An Introduction to Cluster Analysis. New York: J. Wiley. 335 pGoogle Scholar
Knowler, D, Bradshaw, B (2007) Farmers’ adoption of conservation agriculture: a review and synthesis of recent research. Food Policy 32: 2548 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Liebman, M, Davis, AS (2000) Integration of soil, crop and weed management in low-external-input farming systems. Weed Res 40: 2747 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mace, K, Morlon, P, Munier-Jolain, N, Quere, L (2007) Time scales as a factor in decision-making by French farmers on weed management in annual crops. Agric Syst 93: 115142 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norusis, M (2008) SPSS 16.0 Statistical Procedures Companion. 2nd edn. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Pp 361391 Google Scholar
Padel, S (2001) Conversion to organic farming: a typical example of the diffusion of an innovation? Sociol Ruralis 41: 4061 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rodriguez, JM, Molnar, JJ, Fazio, RA, Sydnor, E, Lowe, MJ (2009) Barriers to adoption of sustainable agriculture practices: change agent perspectives. Renew Agric Food Syst 24: 6071 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Rogers, EM (2003) Diffusion of Innovations. 5th edn. New York: Free Press. 576 pGoogle Scholar
Sellmer, JC, Ostiguy, N, Hoover, K, Kelley, KM (2004) Assessing the integrated pest management practices of Pennsylvania nursery operations. Hortscience 39: 297302 Google Scholar
Sturn, A, Quackenbush, J, Trajanoski, Z (2002) Genesis: cluster analysis of microarray data. Bioinformatics 18: 207208 Google ScholarPubMed
Turner, RJ, Davies, G, Moore, H, Grundy, AC, Mead, A (2007) Organic weed management: a review of the current UK farmer perspective. Crop Prot 26: 377382 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
[USDA-AMS] U.S. Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Marketing Service (2012) 2012 List of Certified USDA Organic Operations. Accessed January 2, 2014Google Scholar
[USDA-NASS] U.S. Department of Agriculture–National Agricultural Statistics Service (2015) 2014 Certified Organic Production Survey. Accessed October 20, 2015Google Scholar
Villamil, MB, Alexander, M, Silvis, AH, Gray, ME (2012) Producer perceptions and information needs regarding their adoption of bioenergy crops. Renew Sustain Energy Rev 16: 36043612 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Walz, E (1999) Final Results of the Third Biennial National Organic Farmer's Survey. Santa Cruz, CA: Organic Farming Research Foundation. 126 pGoogle Scholar
Walz, E (2004) Final Results of the Fourth National Organic Farmers’ Survey: Sustaining Organic Farms in a Changing Organic Marketplace. Santa Cruz, CA: Organic Farming Research Foundation. 106 pGoogle Scholar
Warriner, GK, Moul, TM (1992) Kinship and personal communication network influences on the adoption of agriculture conservation technology. J Rural Stud 8: 279291 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zollinger, B, Krannich, RS (2001) Utah agricultural operators’ attitudes toward commonly used agricultural land preservation initiatives. J Community Dev Soc 32: 3564 CrossRefGoogle Scholar