Soil fertility research indicates that fertilizer can be used as a form of weed control.


Soil health is becoming an every-important topic, with soil fertility research continually advancing. Last year saw three research studies on soil fertility, according to a Growing Produce article. The first looked at how long-term manure applications affect different crops. The second looked at using fertilizer as a form of weed control. See a summary of the research below.

Details of the Soil Fertility Research


In the study, Indian and Australian scientists looked at existing research, looking for how fertilizers interact with crops, water, and weeds. One area of the soil fertility research focused on controlling weeds with fertilizer. Options include:

Timing: Since weeds are usually hardier and grow faster than crops, it’s important to give crops an edge. Crops are able to take up more nitrogen in their earlier stages, so administering nitrogen at an early stage gives crops an edge over weeds.

Application. Some application methods benefit weeds as well as crops, such as broadcast fertilizers. Conversely, banding fertilizer can reduce weed resources for many kinds of weeds.

Soil Type. According to the article, ”Both finely textured soils and those with high levels of organic matter can make soil-applied herbicide less available, and so a less effective weed control. Likewise, in less adsorptive soils, leaching losses of applied herbicide is high, which also makes herbicides less effective. Nitrogen can act as an adjuvant to enhance herbicide efficacy, helping herbicide absorption and movement into the leaf tissue.”

Read the complete report here: “Understanding Crop-Weed-Fertilizer-Water Interactions and Their Implications for Weed Management in Agricultural Systems,”

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