The sustainable use of pesticides and the implementation of general principles of integrated pest management (IPM) are demanded from EU-legislation. IPM guidelines go beyond these basic requirements and describe crop- or sector-specifically how to further develop plant protection practice towards sustainability. The recently published guidelines for IPM in sugar beet cultivation were jointly developed by scientists, sugar beet extension experts and representatives of various interest groups related to sugar beet cultivation. With participation of these stakeholders in the development process it was possible to prepare a concerted realisation of the EU's demand on cropspecific guidelines and to provide an accepted tool for communication with the society at the same time. The weed-section of these guidelines contains preventive and direct control measures for weed control in sugar beet cultivation. The focus is put on herbicidal weed control and its non-chemical alternatives as well as options for optimisation of herbicide use in order to keep it to the necessary minimum. After evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of the presented measures, it is concluded that at present weed control with herbicides is a prerequisite for economic and sustainable sugar beet cultivation in Germany.
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