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Alternatives to Atrazine for Weed Management in Processing Sweet Corn

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Zubeyde Filiz Arslan
Affiliation:
Düzce University, Düzce, Turkey, and University of Illinois, Department of Crop Sciences, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801
Martin M. Williams
Affiliation:
USDA–Agricultural Research Service, Global Change and Photosynthesis Research, 1102 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana, IL 61801
Roger Becker
Affiliation:
University of Minnesota, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, 411 Borlaug Hall, 1991 Upper Buford Circle, St. Paul, MN 55108
Vincent A. Fritz
Affiliation:
University of Minnesota, Department of Horticultural Science, Southern Research and Outreach Center, 35838 120th Street, Waseca, MN 56093
R. Ed Peachey
Affiliation:
Oregon State University, Department of Horticulture, 4017 Ag and Life Sciences Bldg., Corvallis, OR 97331
Tom L. Rabaey
Affiliation:
General Mills Agricultural Research, 1201 N. 4th St., Le Sueur, MN 56058
Corresponding

Abstract

Atrazine has been the most widely used herbicide in North American processing sweet corn for decades; however, increased restrictions in recent years have reduced or eliminated atrazine use in certain production areas. The objective of this study was to identify the best stakeholder-derived weed management alternatives to atrazine in processing sweet corn. In field trials throughout the major production areas of processing sweet corn, including three states over 4 yr, 12 atrazine-free weed management treatments were compared to three standard atrazine-containing treatments and a weed-free check. Treatments varied with respect to herbicide mode of action, herbicide application timing, and interrow cultivation. All treatments included a PRE application of dimethenamid. No single weed species occurred across all sites; however, weeds observed in two or more sites included common lambsquarters, giant ragweed, morningglory species, velvetleaf, and wild-proso millet. Standard treatments containing both atrazine and mesotrione POST provided the most efficacious weed control among treatments and resulted in crop yields comparable to the weed-free check, thus demonstrating the value of atrazine in sweet corn production systems. Timely interrow cultivation in atrazine-free treatments did not consistently improve weed control. Only two atrazine-free treatments consistently resulted in weed control and crop yield comparable to standard treatments with atrazine POST: treatments with tembotrione POST either with or without interrow cultivation. Additional atrazine-free treatments with topramezone applied POST worked well in Oregon where small-seeded weed species were prevalent. This work demonstrates that certain atrazine-free weed management systems, based on input from the sweet corn growers and processors who would adopt this technology, are comparable in performance to standard atrazine-containing weed management systems.

Type
Weed Management
Copyright
Copyright © Weed Science Society of America 

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Footnotes

Associate Editor for this paper: William Vencill, University of Georgia.

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