For the IWM methods to succeed in practice it is necessary to know more about the long-term impacts to get a complete overview of the benefits and costs of the method. Therefore, we will focus on the farm economics, taking into account the circumstances of practical farming management. We will also explore the environmental risk of the IWM strategies with the Synops model. Experiments will be used to compare the current practice and possible new practices economically and environmentally (see figure 4).
Until now we conducted interviews for the different case studies to get an overview of what the current weed management practice is, what kind of IWM strategies should be tested in the experiments and some further information which is needed for the analyses. When all cases are described, we will select a group of cases to do the economic and environmental analysis. We will select the cases to achieve a diversity in crops and also diverse IWM methods. Afterwards, we will collect more data for the analyses. This data collection will be done after each growing season.
Two cases are already selected to do a first test of the analyses for WP8.4. The first one is for maize, in the Netherlands, because it is grown at our own research institute, and we have colleagues that will conduct the crop experiment. The other crop is cauliflower in Italy because the IWM strategy is very interesting and we will gain experience with international cooperation, so we can see what kind of barriers this presents. With this try-out, we hope to get more experience with the calculations, but also to get a better view on what data is useful and which is not. Soon we will start working on the maize and cauliflower cases.
We are looking forward to a nice and fruitful cooperation with the other WPs!