Weed Management Toolbox

Weed Management Tactics Form a Toolbox of IWM

Integrated weed management (IWM) can be thought of as a “toolbox” of weed management strategies, or “tools.” The toolbox includes chemical (herbicides), mechanical, cultural, biological practices, and weed prevention measures.

Prevention Cultural Chemical Biological Mechanical IWM

IWM Tactics

IWM tactics span a wide range of options and complexity. Many IWM tactics can be integrated without substantial changes to current management programs, while others require more extensive planning and implementation. Some examples of simpler options include: equipment cleaning, timely scouting, and altering herbicide tank mixes. More extensive options include: changing crop rotations, cover cropping, changing tillage practices, and harvest weed seed control.

IWM is not an alternative to herbicides in conventional crops

For many decades, herbicides have been the primary means of weed management due to their simplicity, effectiveness, and affordability. Today, they remain a valued part of the weed management toolbox for many weeds. But with integrated weed management, no weed management tool stands alone — IWM means using all options available to best manage weeds. 

Why Now?

The main drivers for diversifying weed control practices? For many producers, current strategies are no longer effective, or new weeds are invading fields and requiring new control plans. IWM is necessary to maintain weed control and profitability. The recent increase in consumer demand for organic products has also motivated some producers to integrate new weed management practices in the absence of herbicides.

For up-to-date recommendations for specific weeds, explore the Weed ID Library.