Preprint Review Version 1 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Crop Diversification for Improved Weed Management: A Review

Version 1 : Received: 12 April 2021 / Approved: 14 April 2021 / Online: 14 April 2021 (14:23:08 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Sharma, G.; Shrestha, S.; Kunwar, S.; Tseng, T.-M. Crop Diversification for Improved Weed Management: A Review. Agriculture 2021, 11, 461. Sharma, G.; Shrestha, S.; Kunwar, S.; Tseng, T.-M. Crop Diversification for Improved Weed Management: A Review. Agriculture 2021, 11, 461.


Weeds are among the major constraints to any crop production system, reducing productivity and profitability. Herbicides are among the most effective methods to control weeds, and reliance on herbicides for weed control has increased significantly with the advent of herbicide-resistant crops. Unfortunately, over-reliance on herbicides leads to environmental-health issues and herbicide-resistant weeds, causing human-health and ecological concerns. Crop diversification can help manage weeds sustainably in major crop production systems. It acts as an organizing principle under which technological innovations and ecological insights can be combined to manage weeds sustainably. Diversified cropping can be defined as the conscious inclusion of functional biodiversity at temporal and/or spatial levels to improve the productivity and stability of ecosystem services. Crop diversification helps to reduce weed density by negatively impacting weed seed germination and weed growth. Additionally, diversified farming systems are more resilient to climate change than monoculture systems and provide better crop yield. However, there are a few challenges to adopting a diversified cropping system, which ranges from technology innovations, government policies, farm-level decisions, climate change, and market conditions. In this review, we discuss how crop diversification supports sustainable weed management, the challenges associated with it, and the future of weed management with respect to the diversification concept.


herbicide resistance; crop diversification; intercropping; crop rotation; cover crops; sustainable; weeds; climate change


Biology and Life Sciences, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Comments (0)

Comment 1
Received: 20 April 2021
Commenter: Timothée Cheriere
The commenter has declared there is no conflict of interests.
Comment: Dear authors,

I have just read the section 2.2 on intercropping and I noticed that you did not used the right example from my paper.

You wrote: "Furthermore, the spatial arrangement of the intercrops can significantly affect the yield and weed control. Alternate-row intercropping of soybean with lentil showed the highest yield and best weed control compared with other intercrops (sorghum(Sorghum bicolor), sunflower, and buckwheat(Fagopyrum esculentum)) [81]. "
While the first sentence makes sens, the second one does not, considering my results. Indeed, in lentil-soybean intercrops weed biomass was the highest in both years while soybean yield was also highest.
Best weed control in soybean based intercrops was with buckwheat in 2018 and with sunflower in 2019.
Nonetheless, spatial arrangement did influence weed control performances of sorghum-soybean and buckwheat-soybean intercrops while maintaining a similar soybean yield (better weed control in alternate rows compared to within rows intercropping; see Fig. 6). I would advise to insert this information from my paper rather than the one currently in the first version of your manuscript.

Best regards.
Timothée Cheriere
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