The Economics of Weed Control Strategies: A Dynamic Programming Analysis of Wild Oats Control

Wild oats (Avena fatua and A. ludoviciana) is a weed of ceral crops which, as a consequence of its impact upon cereal yields and persistence, leads to significant economic losses in the grain growing regios of Australia. In this study, a dynamic programming model is developed to examine the impact of a range of management strategies for the control of wild oats in wheat. This analysis draws upon earlier work on the topic by Pandey and Meed (1990, 1991). The strategies evaluated include conventional herbicide control to reduce weed densities, selective spray-topping to reduce seed set of the weed, and summer crop and winter fallow rotational options which provide a break in the cereal cycle and allow accelerated control of wild oat populations. It is hypothesised that those strategies which involve measures that directly reduce seed production and minimise wild oats seed bank populations will yield the greatest economic benefit. The dynamic programming model provides a means of determining the optimal combination of strategies over time for various initial values of the seed bank. The methodology outlined in this study is provided as an economic framework for evaluating weed control problems in annual cropping systems.

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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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