Sustainable Weed Management Systems to Improve Soil Quality in Midwest Viticulture
The use of herbicides in vineyards has been an effective and cost-efficient means of in-row weed management. However, as public concerns about environmental issues have increased, grape growers have become aware of a need for alternative methods of weed management. The overall objective of this project is to identify optimal weed management practices that maximize grapevine growth and development as well as the quality of vineyard soils. A secondary objective of the project is to determine physical and biological soil measurements that could be used in combination with standard chemical soil analyses to indicate an improving or declining condition of a vineyard soil. Another secondary objective is to develop a soil quality index to be used by producers as a tool to assist with vineyard soil management decisions.