Source: Roseville Independent
University of Illinois Extension is looking for organic and sustainable farmers with weed problems to participate in on farm research.
“In 2009, 15 Illinois farmers participated in the project,” said Dan Anderson, University of Illinois Extension specialist. “We visited their farms, helped them identify weed-management issues and developed some strategies to help them solve the problem.”
Andersen hopes to have 20 participants this year.
Organic and sustainable farmers across the midwest report that managing perennial weeds without chemicals is one of their most difficult challenges Anderson said.
“We hope to help organic and sustainable ag farmers improve their skills and pratices in managing perennial weeds using integrated management approaches,” he said.
In order to participate, farmers must be currently farming in Illinois or in neighboring states within close proximity of the Illinois border.
“We are looking for sustainable and organic farmers interested in learning methods to cope effectively with perennial weeds in their grain or vegetable systems,” Anderson said. “We’ll be looking at an applicant’s farming system, farm location and how open they are to innovative approaches to managing perennial weeds.”
All applicants will receive a packet of material on a number of ideas for integrated management approaches to controlling perennial weeds in crop and vegetable farming systems. These might include cover crops, tillage, soil balance, flaming, scouting/early removal (by hand or tillage), rotations, mowing/fallow or hay rotation, livestock/rotation, sprays (organic), biological control (release of beneficiary, predatory insects or organisms) and optimizing competition from growing crop.
To apply, visit http://asap.sustainability.uiuc.edu/rg-ag/ scroll down and click on “2010 Mini-Grants! Apply Now” or contact Dan Anderson, 217-621-7974, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The mini-grant program is supported by funding from NCR-SARE.