Advanced Organic Weed Management

February 21, 2019  |  10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  |  La Crosse, Wis.


Sam Hitchcock Tilton
Matt Liebman,
Iowa State University
Matt Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Organics
Joe Fitzgerald, Fitzgerald Organics
Keith Wilson, Wilson Organic Farms


  • Weed biology and population dynamics
  • Weed management strategies for organic grain production
  • New and emerging machines
  • Best-use strategies with your existing machines



Weed control is a continual challenge in organic grain production. But this isn’t your grandparent’s method of farming! Organic grain producers employ a variety of strategies to manage weeds, from cutting-edge technological innovations and adapted machinery to ecological techniques and systems-based approaches. A group of experienced professionals will help you identify the best strategies for your operation.

Matt Liebman, Iowa State University, will explain weed population dynamics, weed biology, and research-based control strategies. Sam Hitchcock Tilton from KULT-Kress Cultivation Solutions will highlight new and emerging machines on the market, individual tools, as well as best-use strategies for your current equipment and options to tune-up your cultivator. In addition, a panel of experienced organic grain farmers will share their weed-control strategies and offer practical advice you can apply to organic grain production on your farm.


Presenter bios:

Matt Liebman is a professor of agronomy and the H.A. Wallace Chair for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. His research, teaching, and outreach activities focus on ways to use ecological processes to improve farming systems. His specific interests include diversified crop rotations, weed ecology and management, and the use of native prairie species for biofuel production and soil, water, and wildlife conservation. Matt is a member of the board of directors for Wheatsfield Cooperative Grocery in Ames, Iowa.



Sam Hitchcock Tilton is a Horticulture Instructor at Lakeshore Technical College, just North of Sheboygan, Wisconsin. He has a background in vegetable farming and earned a Master’s degree in Horticulture from Michigan State University, where he studied and conducted research on precision weeding tools. Sam was the Midwest Sales Representative for KULT-Kress precision cultivation tools. For this work he designed weeding machines for all types of crops, developed new tools, and traveled through Europe and the US visiting farms. He writes for Vegetable Grower’s News and Growing for Market, and is the organizer of the annual Midwest Mechanical Weed Control Field Day – the nation’s premier event for weeding tool demonstrations. He is happy to talk about tool designs and assist with cultivator calibrations. He also enjoys jokes and popcorn.


Joe Fitzgerald has raised organic crops since 1994. He has helped convert multiple operations and mentor young and transitioning farmers locally and through the Midwest Organic Sustainability and Education Service (MOSES) program. Joe has partnered with Iowa State University and University of Minnesota to lead field days and served as a panelist at organic conferences in Minnesota. Joe is committed to sharing his lifetime of experiences with others.


Matt Fitzgerald grew up on his family’s organic farm and has been a partner over the last several years. Matthew has helped diversify crop rotations and implement new technology into the operation. He is also a certified organic inspector with the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA). Matthew is excited about the future of farming and working to support the next generation of farmers.


Keith Wilson became one of Organic Valley’s first 150 members in 1996. Today the family milks 400 cows in a double-12 herringbone parlor and has about 450 heifers. The Wilsons own about 1,800 acres and rent another 1,000 acres. Land is used for pasture as well as for producing feed for the cattle. The Wilsons use an alfalfa-corn-soybean crop rotation, and manage weeds through carefully planned use of tines and burning.




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