The control of weeds can be rationalized by the grower according to his production objectives. Weed management includes several control methods, for example by using mechanical weeding, spreading herbicides at different periods of the crop cycle or by introducing cover plants in the crop rotation.
Weed control does not represent a problem so far as one has sufficient labour to weed manually by uprooting, hoeing or cutting with a machete. However, the increase in the area of the fields and the absence of a fallow period lead to situations where the weed gets out of control.
The initiation of a weed management strategy is a complex decision-taking process which depends on :
- the state of weediness (weed species, development reached),
- the crop (pure or associated),
- the cultural practises,
- the constraints of the crop calendar,
- the condition of the surface of the field (type of soil, mode of working the soil, humidity),
- the weather conditions,
- the available equipment,
- the economical aspects (profitability of the crop, funds available),
- the availability of herbicides.
Two types of methods are used:
- Indirect methods (soil preparation, crop rotation, ...)
- Direct methods (chemical control through spraying herbicides, mechanical control, ...)
- Indirect control methods : how to prevent weediness ?
- Mechanical control : to know more about weeding methods
- Chemical control : the place of herbicides in the weed control
- Chemical control : how to be successful in herbicide spraying