Agricultural production is essential for ensuring food security worldwide. Weeds are an important constraint to crop yield, and an integrated and sustainable approach is crucial to avoid losses and to protect the environment


Key reasons to attend this course

Be aware of the current challenges in weed control and the need to adapt weed management to the present requirements of sustainable agriculture.
Apply weed biology and ecology concepts towards sustainable and improved weed management.
Be familiar with new tools for weed detection and sustainable technologies for weed prevention and control.
Appreciate the potential of integrating the preventive, cultural and direct methods for improving weed management.
Gain basic and applied knowledge on the safe and rational use of herbicides.
Analyse case studies using an integrated weed management approach.
Network with professionals from other countries and share knowledge on recent trends in weed science and strengthen cooperation to address current production and environmental issues.


J. Aibar, Univ. Zaragoza, Huesca (Spain)
B. Baraibar, Univ. Lleida (Spain)
P. Bàrberi, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, Pisa (Italy)
L. Bastiaans, WUR, Wageningen (The Netherlands)
A. Cirujeda, CITA-GA, Zaragoza (Spain)
A.I. de Castro, INIA, Madrid (Spain)
J. Dorado, CSIC-ICA, Madrid (Spain)
A.I. Marí, CITA-GA, Zaragoza (Spain)
B. Melander, Aarhus Univ. (Denmark)
J.M. Montull, Univ. Lleida (Spain)
P. Neve, Univ. Copenhagen (Denmark)
N. Pedrol, Univ. Vigo (Spain)
J.M. Peña, CSIC-ICA, Madrid (Spain)
J. Recasens, Univ. Lleida (Spain)
A. Royo-Esnal, Univ. Lleida (Spain)

Applied approach
(lectures, technical visits, hands-on sessions & debate)

15 leading international experts

Course in English, French and Spanish with interpretation


  • 1. Framing sustainable agriculture in a 21st century perspective
    • 1.1. The UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030
    • 1.2. The EU Green Deal, the Farm to Fork and Biodiversity 2030 Strategies, the new CAP
    • 1.3. The rising of the agroecological paradigm
    • 1.4. The rising of high-tech solutions for precision farming
  • 2. Current challenges in weed control
    • 2.1. Importance of weeds in crop production from agronomic and social points of view
    • 2.2. Herbicide misuse and herbicide resistance
    • 2.3. Restrictions in herbicide use
    • 2.4. New emerging weeds
  • 3. Framing weed management in the context of sustainable agriculture
    • 3.1. The importance of a systems approach
    • 3.2. Agricultural management and the provision of agroecosystem services
    • 3.3. Functional agrobiodiversity and sustainable weed management
    • 3.4. Weeds that are not weeds: the importance of context
    • 3.5. Weed management across different spatial and time scales
    • 3.6. Facilitating synergies and minimizing trade-offs between services: the role of weed management
    • 3.7. Integrated Weed Management (IWM), Ecological Weed Management (EWM) and Agroecological Weed Management (AWM): similarities and divergences
  • 4. Guided discussion
  • 5. Applied weed biology and ecology
    • 5.1. Basic weed biology and ecology knowledge needed to implement sustainable weed management systems (e.g., life forms, ecophysiological groups, seed dormancy and its relationship with seed size and structure)
    • 5.2. Weed population and community dynamics: response and effect traits
    • 5.3. Weed seedbank depletion: seed decay, seed predation, fatal germination
    • 5.4. Crop-weed interactions revisited: the role of new ecological knowledge and of chemical signals
    • 5.5. Invasive and emerging agricultural weeds: drivers, patterns, effects (with a special focus on Mediterranean environments)
    • 5.6. Guided discussion
  • 6. Building an IWM system
    • 6.1. Preventive, cultural and direct weed management. Single season vs multiple season perspective
    • 6.2. Step 1 – Knowing your enemy (if there is one)
      • 6.2.1. Understanding which weeds should be controlled and when
      • 6.2.2. Differences across cropping systems
    • 6.3. Step 2 – Including preventive weed management measures
      • 6.3.1. Crop rotation
      • 6.3.2. Cover crops and mulches
      • 6.3.3. Soil seedbed preparation: false/stale seedbed technique, targeted tillage
      • 6.3.4. Soil solarization and soil steaming
    • 6.4. Step 3 – Including cultural weed management measures
      • 6.4.1. Competitive cultivars
      • 6.4.2. Targeted fertilization and irrigation
      • 6.4.3. Intercrops and living mulches
      • 6.4.4. Sowing/planting pattern: crop density, crop spatial arrangement, inter-row distance, transplanting
    • 6.5. Step 4 – Including direct weed management measures in annual and perennial crops
      • 6.5.1. Weed thresholds and economic issues
      • 6.5.2. Mechanical weed control: inter- and intra-row mechanical tools, comb-cut, robotic weeding
      • 6.5.3. Thermal weed control: flame-weeding, hot water
      • 6.5.4. Biological weed control: mycoherbicides, grazing
      • 6.5.5. Understanding weed adaptation as an important component of integrated weed management
        • The adaptation of weeds to agroecosystems
        • Herbicide resistance case study: the blackgrass epidemic in the UK
        • Other examples of weed adaptation – crop mimicry, weed adaptation to climate change
        • Weed genomics – what can access to weed genomes tell us about the ecology and evolution of weeds
      • 6.5.6. Good practices for herbicide use? Guidelines for the election of the most suitable herbicides?
    • 6.6. Case study: Site-specific weed management
    • 6.7. Case study: herbicides from natural origin
    • 6.8. Guided group work to implement IWM, EWM or AWM: building an optimal weed management toolbox for different cropping systems (arable crops, vegetable crops, orchards, rice systems, pastures and leys, etc.)
  • 7. Hands-on sessions
    • 7.1. Weed scouting
    • 7.2. Decision support systems
    • 7.3. Visit to the weed garden for weed identification
    • 7.4. Technical visits: commercial farm under no-tillage management, trial of cereal varieties, almond/olive grove in intensive management, cherry trees in full bloom, Loarre castle

Train at an outstanding international institution


If you wish to participate in the course, apply online at the following address:

The course is designed for 30 participants with a university degree. It is intended for professionals from public and private organizations involved in weed management, as well as for decision-makers, plant protection specialists, technical advisors and researchers.

The course will be held at CIHEAM Zaragoza (Spain) from 28 March to 2 April 2022, in morning and afternoon sessions.
If the health risk from Covid-19 persists on those dates, the course will take place online.

Application deadline: 14 January 2022.

  • Registration fees for the course amount to 500 euro. This sum covers tuition fees only.
  • Candidates from CIHEAM member countries (Albania, Algeria, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia and Turkey) and from ICARDA Middle East and North Africa partners may apply for scholarships covering registration fees, and for scholarships covering the cost of travel and full board accommodation in the Hall of Residence on the Aula Dei Campus or in other accommodation.
  • The Spanish Weed Science Society will offer a limited number of grants covering registration fees to Spanish participants.
  • The European Weed Research Society may offer a limited number of grants covering partial travel expenses to PhD students / young professionals. Details on how such a grant can be obtained will be published on the website of the EWRS ( after the annual EWRS-Board meetings, which will be held on 20-21 November 2021.
  • Candidates from other countries who require financial support should apply directly to other national or international institutions.

It is compulsory for participants to have medical insurance valid for Spain. Proof of insurance cover must be given at the beginning of the course. Those who so wish may participate in a collective insurance policy taken out by the Organization, upon payment of the stipulated sum.

Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza

Av. Montañana 1005, 50059 Zaragoza, Spain

+34 976716000

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