Integrated Weed Management (IWM) Strategies

IWM is the planning and implementation of a coordinated program that uses a variety of effective tools to manage noxious weeds. Elements of an IWM plan include weed identification, education, prevention, cultural practices, mechanical removal, chemical use, and biological control.

  • Mechanical control involves cutting, mowing, disking.
  • Cultural controls use materials or techniques that reduce noxious weed populations. Examples include mulching, rotational grazing, and establishing good vegetation cover.
  • Biological control uses organisms (insects, mites, diseases and grazing animals) which feed only on specific noxious weeds.
  • Since we are dealing with living things, a variety of circumstances come into play that impact the success of the establishment of the bio-control and ultimately the control of the noxious weed you are targeting. For example, an organism that works well in the plains may not work in the mountains. Although there has been some success on some noxious weeds, bio-control agents are not available for all species and are not allowed for use on species designated for eradication.
  • Prevention includes planting weed free seed, mulching with weed free material, cleaning machinery before moving between sites and controlling weeds prior to their setting seed.
  • Chemical control involves the use of herbicides.

(Colorado Weed Management Association)