Sharma, G.; Shrestha, S.; Kunwar, S.; Tseng, T.-M. Crop Diversification for Improved Weed Management: A Review. Agriculture2021, 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.
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