Managing spatially variable weed populations

D. A. Mortensen, G. A. Johnson, Dawn Y. Wyse, Alex R. Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

42 Scopus citations


This chapter describes the relationship between spatially variable weed populations and resulting weed management decisions. In addition, it uses spatial population distribution maps to simulate the potential for herbicide use reduction if intermittent herbicide application was commercially feasible. The chapter shows that weeds are indeed spatially aggregated and that intermittent herbicide applicators, based on real-time data acquisition, are a critical first-step in implementation of this technology on a field scale basis. The use of real-time sensing could reduce herbicide use by an average of 30 to 72 % if in-row plant species discrimination were possible. Intermittent herbicide application represents a significant change in herbicide application technology that addresses economic, environmental and agronomic concerns. Technology is available to apply herbicides only when weeds are present. This approach, whose value was suggested as early as 1987 by R. Cousens, lacks basic information on the spatial and temporal dynamics of weed populations in agricultural fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSite-Specific Management for Agricultural Systems
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780891182603
ISBN (Print)9780891181279
StatePublished - Sep 1 1995
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 1995 by the American Society of Agronomy, Inc.


  • Agronomic decisions
  • Economic threshold
  • Environmental impact
  • Herbicide application technology
  • Herbicide use reduction
  • In-row plant species discrimination
  • Real-time sensing
  • Spatial population distribution maps
  • Spatially variable weed populations
  • Weed management decisions


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