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A long-term field experiment was conducted in southern Sweden to evaluate the effect of harvest before crop ripeness on weed infestation. In addition, two stubble heights, 10 cm and 30 cm, were compared. The aim was to determine the potential of the treatments in weed regulation. The harvests were performed on three occasions: milk-ripeness (I), which is the normal harvest time for a green cereal, yellow-ripeness (II) and binder-ripeness (III). In control plots, harvested at full ripeness, herbicides were used in all years. Weed density initially increased exponentially in all treatments except for the control, but had a tendency to level off after 4 years. In all years weed density was higher when harvest was delayed and the stubble was high. Harvest at milk ripeness (I) favoured short-season annuals such as Stellaria media (L) Vill and worked against late-maturing species such as Polygonum tomentosum (Schrank). Weed density differed between the treatment plots during the last year of the experiment. In the treatment harvested at stage I combined with low stubble height, weed density was only slightly higher than in the control. Thus, when harvesting a green cereal, herbicides can be avoided.