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Nighttime Cultivation Stops Weed Seeds From Sprouting
Plowing and cultivating in the middle of the night reduces weed problems, say researchers at Oregon State University.
Crop scientists Carlos Ballare and Ana Scopel explain that millions of weed seeds lie dormant in every field. For many species, all it takes is a millisecond of exposure to get them to germinate. So, no matter how fast you work in daytime, you can't help triggering the growth of seeds that might otherwise remain harmlessly underground for years.
Ballare and Scopel says their research proves farmers who do nighttime tillage can reduce weed growth 30 to 70 percent.
You don't have to work in total darkness to make the idea work. The researchers say that comparisons between tractors working in total darkness and tractors with as many as 8 bright headlights showed no difference. It also doesn't matter if it's a full moon or new moon.
If doing fieldwork at night doesn't work out, you can get nearly the same benefits by covering your implement with a tarp or cardboard to create artificial nighttime at ground level. (Jane Fyksen in Agri-View)

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1993 - Volume #17, Issue #4