Rye As a Weed Management Tool in Vegetable Cropping Systems
Current weed management systems for vegetable crops are not sustainable. They rely on extensive inputs of herbicides, tillage, and hand weeding. Many of the herbicides used in vegetable production are older products that cause environmental or health concerns. Some vegetable cropping systems have only a few registered herbicides, making resistant weeds a concern and causing a desperate need for alternative weed management techniques. Herbicides account for most of the pesticide active ingredients applied in many vegetable cropping systems (Clark et al., 1998), and alternative weed management systems are needed to reduce use of pesticides. Hand weeding is the most costly input used in vegetable production and must be minimized if alternative weed management systems are to be economical (Clark et al., 1998; Masiunas, 1999). Thus more environmentally sound and economical approaches are needed to manage weeds in vegetable cropping systems.