Weeds pose a serious problem in the South African sugar industry and, in extreme cases, can lead to complete crop failure. Weeds are normally grouped into the three categories, namely, Broadleaf Weeds, Grasses and Sedges. The effect that these weeds have on cane yield will depend on the rate of growth of the crop and the type of weed. Weeds are less of a problem in a fast growing crop.
SASRI advocates an integrated pest management (IPM) approach to weed control, i.e. a sustainable approach which combines biological, cultural, physical and chemical tools in a way that minimises economic, health and environmental risks.