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Modifying weed management in a broad row crop (maize) for environmental benefit - AR0412

This project seeks to demonstrate in conventional maize crops, that use of spray techniques, such as band spraying, to retain weeds between the rows for longer, or by undersowing with seed mixes to increase the number of flowering plants producing pollen and/or nectar and /or seeds, will a) provide a habitat to enhance the populations of beneficial arthropods and b) increase food sources for birds (both insects and seeds), without affecting the yield of the crop. This project addresses the need to halt the decline in number of farmland birds by providing better habitat for nesting and food sources than current practice. The information obtained can also be used to guide weed control practices in genetically-modified herbicide tolerant maize, should such varieties be grown in the future.
1. To determine the effects of novel weed management on the yield of fodder maize.
2. To determine the effects of management of undersown species on the yield of fodder maize.
3. To measure the effects of the presence of weeds and undersown plants at different times in the season on the availability of bird food (invertebrates and weed seeds) and biodiversity of invertebrates.
4. To begin to develop recommendations for weed management in conventional and, by extension, GMHT maize that maximise defined environmental benefits without compromising yield of maize.
Project Documents
• Final Report : Modifying weed management in a broad row crop (maize) for environmental benefit   (392k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2003

To: 2004

Cost: £135,644
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Rothamsted Research (BBSRC)
Arable Farming              
Cereal Production              
Sustainable Production              
Fields of Study
Arable Crops