Non-inversion tillage with tine or disc based cultivations prior to crop establishment is the most common way of reducing tillage for arable cropping systems with small grain cereals, oilseed rape and maize in Europe. However, new regulations on pesticide use may hinder further expansion of reduced tillage systems. European agriculture is asked to become less dependent on pesticides and promote crop protection programmes based on integrated pest management (IPM) principles. Conventional non-inversion tillage systems rely entirely on the availability of glyphosate products, and herbicide consumption is mostly higher as compared to plough-based cropping systems. Annual grass weeds and catchweed bedstraw often constitute the principal weed problems in non-inversion tillage systems and crop rotations concurrently have very high proportions of winter cereals. There is a need to redesign cropping systems to allow for more diversification of the crop rotations to combat these weed problems with less herbicide input. Cover crops, stubble management strategies and tactics that strengthen crop growth relative to weed growth are also seen as important components in future IPM systems but their impact in non-inversion tillage systems needs validation. Direct mechanical weed control methods based on rotating weeding devices such as rotary hoes may become useful in reduced tillage systems where more crop residues and less workable soils are more prevalent but further development is needed for effective application. Owing to the frequent use of glyphosate in reduced tillage systems, perennial weeds are not particularly problematic. However, results from organic cropping systems clearly reveal that desisting from glyphosate use inevitably leads to more problems with perennials, which need to be addressed in future research.
Weed Technology, 2013, Vol 27, Issue 1, p. 231-240
noninversion tillage; preventive control; cultural control; grass weeds; nonchemical control