Work Packages




IWM Mental Models: End user’s perception, barriers to uptake new knowledge and drivers for decision making

The objective of WP1 is to develop a thorough understanding of the end user drivers for decision making, barriers to uptake of new knowledge and perceptions of IWM in general. The work can be separated into the following sub-objectives:

  • to provide WPs 3-7 with a mental model of IWM for the selected management scenarios
  • to develop tools for WPs 3-7 to evaluate the impact of developed IWM strategies on the end users mental model
  • to support WP 8 with knowledge and tools for the integration of scientific knowledge and technology into farming practice
  • to support WP 9 with knowledge of drivers behind the decisions of farmers for a more focused dissemination


Innovation hub

The overall objective of WP2 is to support WPs 3-7 with knowledge and tools for the implementation of IWM strategies and to investigate new technologies for weed monitoring and non-chemical weed control to further reduce herbicide dependency. The work can be separated into eight sub-objectives planned for more detailed investigations as outlined in the following task descriptions:

  • Construct a list of weed control strategies based on the combinations of preventive, cultural and direct weed control methods
  • Develop cropping systems for cereals that suit the use of automatically steered inter-row hoes
  • Integrate inter-row cultivation with band-spraying technology or flaming technology to constitute a complete weed control program for maize and sugar beets
  • Identify cover crop species for effective weed suppression and optimise their implementation in cropping systems using inversion and non-inversion primary tillage methods, respectively
  • Explore technologies for weed seed collection and destruction
  • Investigate the potential of sensors and satellite images for the detection of specific weed problems to support the planning of IWM strategies
  • Study the prospects of hand-held PCR technology for early warning of herbicide resistant weed populations at the field level
  • Review the perspectives for bioherbicides and biocontrol agents to become relevant tools in IWM strategies


Annual narrow-row crops

The aim of WP3 is to design, demonstrate and conduct an agronomic assessment of context-specific IWM strategies on annual narrow row crops (e.g. small grain cereals, oilseed rape and pea) and provide data for an environmental and economic assessment (WP 8). The strategies will build on the output from mental models from WP1 and combine existing tools with innovative tools provided by WP2 depending on their availability. The outcome will be disseminated both through farmer focused field events carried out as part of the work package and more widely through WP9. The specific objectives are the following:

  • design IWM strategies within national clusters, including the tools made available by WP2
  • experimentally test and evaluate the strategies at field level
  • provide information for the dissemination of the practical experiences at national and international level feed experimental information and data into the project


Annual row crops

The objective of WP4 is to deliver tested and validated IWM tools and strategies for annual row crops, i.e. with widely spaced rows such as maize, but also sunflower, beets and soybean, as well as field grown vegetables. The more specific objectives are described in the following tasks:

  • design IWM strategies within national clusters for both annual row crops and horticultural field crops, including the tools made available by WP2
  • experimentally test and evaluate the strategies at field level for both annual row crops and horticultural field crops
  • provide information for the dissemination of the practical experiences at national and international level
  • carry out feed experiments


Perennial herbaceous crops

The objective of WP5 is to develop IWM tools for weed management in perennial herbaceous crops. The more specific objectives are described in the following tasks:

  • Assessing drivers of weed dynamics in grasslands
  • Experimentally test and evaluate the strategies at field level
  • Design and test weed detection and control system for grassland
  • Develop and evaluate a novel biological control approach in grasslands
  • Evaluate IWM strategies in grassland and clover/grass mixtures


Perennial woody crops

The objective of WP 6 is to develop sustainable and cost-effective IWM strategies for woody perennial crops to reduce the dependence on chemical weed control. The work is subdivided into the following three main tasks following the overall structure of work package 3-6:

  • Design of IWM strategies within national clusters
  • Experimentally validation of the strategies
  • Evaluate the strategies, disseminate the results and feed information and data into the project database


IWM under different tillage regimes and the effects on soil quality

The objectives of WP7 are:

  • to assess the effect of various weed management strategies on composition, diversity and abundance of weed communities and the impact on yield components in:
    • newly established no-till systems to asses weed management issues in the transition phase
    • existing long-term no-till systems to assess weed management issues in relation to soil quality from a long-term perspective
  • to assess any positive effects and drawbacks of weed management strategies on soil quality, with special emphasis on soil C sequestration, reduction of soil organic matter mineralization, conservation of soil structure and porosity, preservation of beneficial soil arthropods especially in no-till systems
  • to design practical solutions together with farmers to balance the choice of weed management strategies in no-till systems while preserving soil quality.


Assessing long term agronomic, environmental and economic impacts of IWM

The objective of WP8 is to apply well-developed, validated models and methodologies for assessing long-term impacts of changes in management on the agronomic, environmental and economic metrics of the systems developed in WP3-7. This exercise will be part of the iterative process of optimising IWM strategies within the innovation loop, both informing tactical choices and assessing outputs in terms of trade-offs and synergies. The outputs will be focused at the level of the cropping system to capture the indirect impacts of changes in weed management on multiple facets of the system that we will be unable to measure empirically in the field. The WP will be split into four tasks, each with a specific objective as described in the following:

  • Predict the long-term impact of the management changes implemented in WP 3-7 on the diversity and abundance of the weed flora and yield loss from weed competition
  • Predict the implications of changes in weed communities for higher trophic groups and ecosystem services
  • Quantify the relative risk of the evolution of herbicide resistance in the contrasting management scenarios trialed in WP 3-7
  • Assess the farm economic and environmental impact of IWM, compared to current weed management practices


Dissemination and communication

The objectives of WP9 are to:

  • ensure that all relevant information from WPs 1-8 is communicated to stakeholders (e.g. researchers, advisers, farmers, agricultural teachers, and policy makers) in participating countries
  • facilitate the involvement of end-users and other stakeholders in IWMPRAISE, as enthusiastic and leading farmers/ and growers are generally considered the most powerful dissemination/implementation engine for the tools to be developed in this project
  • engage all stakeholders in a broad discussion on the state of the art of IWM
  • emphasise the creation of communication resources that can be embedded into new or existing products (e.g. apps for smart devices) and platforms (e.g. web-based advisory platforms) to ensure durability after the project
  • inform the general public about the project and its achievements
  • make results of the project known to farmers, advisers and stakeholders in non-participating EU member states (with specific emphasis on Eastern European countries) and countries outside EU
  • give feasible procedures to improve efficacy of National Action Plans taking into account main characteristics of member states


Management and coordination

The objective of WP10 is the legal, financial and administrative management of IWMPRAISE. The specific objectives are to:

  • implement a project infrastructure for efficient reporting and internal communication
  • administer and transfer payments from the EC
  • consolidate and submit periodic progress reports and the final report including financial reports and certificates on the financial statements
  • organize kick-off, ExCom and National Cluster Forum meetings and the international conference
  • provide day-to-day support on contractual, administrative and financial matters

establish a project database