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effects conventional tillage on weed seed populations

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Weed responses to tillage system vary with the location and the weed species (Derksen et al., 1996a). Therefore, it is impossible to develop a set of specific guidelines for managing weeds in reduced tillage systems. However, certain trends have been observed that apply more broadly:

Tillage, or the absence of tillage, can affect weed populations and communities (i.e. mixtures of weed species), as well as herbicide use in various ways:

Tillage and the weed seedbank

Tillage can also be used to deplete the weed seedbank in the soil. This practice involves stimulating weed germination with light tillage, either in spring or fall, and then destroying those weeds. (See also Weed Seedbank Depletion).

Tillage is often used as a weed control system (see Tillage), but the effects of tillage on weed dynamics go far beyond the physical removal of growing weeds. With the development and widespread adoption of minimum and zero-tillage systems, weed management approaches have evolved. Although some have predicted weed management problems in zero-till systems, there is little evidence supporting this prediction. Crop rotation appears to have a greater impact on weed dynamics than tillage system does (Derksen et al., 1996b)

The response of annual grassy and broadleaved weeds depends more on location and other factors than on tillage system.