Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 June 2017
A 3-yr field study was conducted to compare an in-row cultivator versus a standard row-crop cultivator to decisions made with WEEDCAM, a weed/corn management computer decision aid, for controlling annual weeds within the row in irrigated corn. In the absence of herbicides, weeds were always controlled better with the in-row cultivator than with the standard row-crop cultivator. However, grain yield and gross margin were affected only in 1991 when weeds emerged simultaneously with corn, and rain delayed the first cultivation 10 d. The in-row cultivator plots not only averaged 34% more grain ha-1 than the standard row-crop cultivator plots, but gross margin was $143 ha-1 more. Weed densities each year were about 95% less in plots managed in accordance with the computer model WEEDCAM simulations than in the non-herbicide treated post-planting tillage plots. Grain yields and gross margins were not affected by weed seedbank density, pre-cultivation tillage, or type of cultivator when weed management decisions were based on WEEDCAM simulation ranking. In the absence of herbicides, weeds can be controlled successfully in corn with an in-row cultivator, but success will depend on such factors as weed seedbank density, cultivation timeliness, and relative time of weed and corn emergence.
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