Climate change means growers need to rethink how they manage their weeds

The effects of climate change in Maine were already bad news for farmers and gardeners. Now it appears that those who rely on non-chemical weed management practices will face another weather-induced challenge.

The trend over the last four years in Maine of periods of drought and torrential rainstorms coupled with general warming conditions have created a perfect agricultural storm in which weeds can flourish. Those same conditions will make weed control more challenging.

In its simplest form, a weed is any plant that grows where it is not wanted, and is the bane of anyone it cultivates. Left unchecked, weeds can choke out vegetables, fruit trees, and flowers in small backyards and larger commercial farms.

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