A lack of information regarding weed control, relative to conventional systems, has left organic growers largely on their own when devising weed management systems for organic crops. As interest in organic weed management increases, researchers need more information regarding the type and number of weed control practices undertaken on organic farms. A survey of certified organic growers was conducted in five states in the northwest United States to identify organic weed management programs and what grower and farm-operation characteristics were factors in weed management program design. Three types of weed management programs, with varying diversity in weed control practices, were identified. Stepwise binary logistic regression indicated that the likelihood of an organic grower using a more-diverse weed management program increased if the grower engaged in grain production and as the number of crops produced on an organic farm operation in 1 yr increased. The probability of operating a more-diverse weed management program also increased as a grower's education level increased. Organic hectarage operated was positively correlated with weed management program diversity, and with the adoption of cultural controls. Additionally, awareness of weeds as a factor causing yield loss was correlated with increased weed management program diversity. An increased awareness among researchers of the differing needs and abilities of organic growers in managing weeds on their farms will improve communication and outreach efforts when assisting growers with designing organic weed management programs.
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Vol. 64 • No. 3