Weeds in the field: an identified threat for crops

Published on 26/02/2018

On 23 February 2018, LIST participated in the Efficient Crop Rotation Systems for Oilseed Rape (EFFO) Seminar organized by the Lycée Technique Agricole in Ettelbrück (LU) for the project of the same name. As well as bringing together the key players in Luxembourg’s agriculture industry,  it also included participants from two German research institutions – the Landesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Fischerei (Gülzow) and the Christian-Albrecht-University (Kiel) - who gave presentations on optimizing the use of fertilizers in autumn after sowing oilseed rape to guarantee a sustainable use of nitrogen.

As an EFFO project partner aiming to reduce pesticides in Luxembourg's water resources, Dr Michael Eickermann, a researcher in LIST’s  Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) department, presented the institute’s research activity focusing mainly on the acquisition and scientific analysis of data.

Leading weeds detected

In November 2017, LIST and its partners revealed two encouraging results: organically-grown oilseed rape identified to be a real opportunity for organic farmers and a new technical approach based on drones, developed to identify weeds growing completely spontaneously in the field (see the related news, "How Luxembourg reduces pesticides in agriculture" published on 21 November 2017). Since then, progress has been made, with LIST researchers identifying different weed societies in the experimental location. The main weeds, field pansy, chickweed and shepherd's purse, have the potential to create large seed banks in the soil to threaten crops in the coming years.

Focus on EFFO project

The EFFO project has been funded by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Agriculture, Viticulture and Consumer Protection and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research since 2015. Led by the Fördergemeinschaft Integrierte Landbewirtschaftung, LIST is part of the partner consortium, along with the Chambre d’Agriculture and the Lycée Technique Agricole. Together, they try to optimize the production of winter oilseed rape from several environmental aspects and are working on identifying suitable cropping techniques and exploring potential substitutes based on multifaceted agricultural field trials.

For further information about EFFO, visit the Project Webpage

Picture copyright : Alex Mesenburg from Lycée Technique Agricole, Ettelbruck

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