Simple farm hygiene keeps weeds down

Farm hygiene means keeping things clean. This includes keeping weeds from entering the farm in hay etc; Keeping any possible introduced weeds in a confined area; Using clean seed for sowing; and Not transferring weeds from one part of the farm to another.

In more detail, farm hygiene includes:

  • not transferring weeds from one part of the farm to another. For example, before moving an implement from a field that has a lot of weeds to a field that doesn't, it makes sense to clean the implement and tractor to minimize the transfer of weed seeds.

  • A simpler way to do this is to start in the field that has the least weeds, then move to the field with the next lowest level of weeds and so on, finishing in the weediest field. This is also known as Working from clean to dirty.

  • keeping weeds out by ensuring that any produce you buy in (such as hay) is from a clean source with minimal contamination of weeds.

  • keeping weeds confined to an area that you can keep an eye on and manage well by using an approach called Quarantine . This involves making sure that any possibility for introducing weeds is confined to a manageable area. For example if you buy in hay, you could also be buying a lot of weed seeds. To reduce this risk, you could ensure that the hay is stored and fed out only in one field, preferably one that you can keep an eye on when weed seeds are likely to germinate.

  • Clean seed for sowing is important because if this seed you are sowing is contaminated with weed seeds, you're giving the weeds an ideal start in your beautifully-prepared seedbed. The simple solution is to buy and use only seed that has been cleaned and graded to minimize contamination with weed seeds. If you are sowing seed you have kept from a previous harvest, there may be a local seed grading company that can clean it for you.

By doing some simple things, it can be easy to use farm hygiene to keep weeds down