Hostname: page-component-77c89778f8-m42fx Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-07-21T17:42:12.282Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Effects of Giant Foxtail (Setaria faberi) and Yellow Foxtail (Setaria pumila) Competition on Establishment and Productivity of Switchgrass

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 January 2017

Ariel A. D. Larson
Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin Madison, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison WI 53706
Mark J. Renz*
Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin Madison, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison WI 53706
David E. Stoltenberg
Department of Agronomy, University of Wisconsin Madison, 1575 Linden Drive, Madison WI 53706
Corresponding author's E-mail:


Switchgrass is a potential feedstock for cellulosic bioenergy production. Weed competition from annual grass during the establishment year can reduce switchgrass establishment and resulting productivity, but the relationship between early season grass densities and outcomes of competition are not well understood. We measured how a range of giant and yellow foxtail densities in the establishment year influenced switchgrass establishment and resulting productivity in the first production year (second year of the growing season). In two of the three site–yr more than four foxtail plants m−2 reduced switchgrass plant densities below documented thresholds of establishment success. A lesser effect of foxtails in the third site–year suggested that higher switchgrass emergence rates reduced foxtail competitive ability during establishment. Effects on yield were consistent over the three site–yr. The yield (10.96 Mg ha−1 ± 0.77) decreased rapidly as foxtail density increased. One foxtail plant m−2 reduced switchgrass yield in the first production year by 25%, and yield loss was 90% or greater at densities > 50 foxtail plants m−2. Although switchgrass can establish in the presence of foxtail competition, these weed species should be controlled to maximize yields in the first production year.

Weed Biology and Ecology
Copyright © Weed Science Society of America 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Associate editor for this paper: Anita Dille, Kansas State University.


Literature Cited

Blanco-Canqui, H (2010) Energy crops and their implications on soil and environment. Agron J 102:403419 Google Scholar
Boydston, RA, Collins, HP, Fransen, SC (2010) Response of three switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) cultivars to mesotrione, quinclorac, and pendimethalin. Weed Technol 24:336341 Google Scholar
Casler, MD, Boe, AR (2003) Cultivar x environment interactions in switchgrass. Crop Sci 43:22262233 Google Scholar
Conley, SP, Binning, LK, Boerboom, CM, Stoltenberg, DE (2002) Estimating giant foxtail cohort productivity in soybean based on weed density, leaf area, or volume. Weed Sci 50:7278 Google Scholar
Cousens, R (1985) A simple model relating yield loss to weed density. Ann Appl Biol 107:239252 Google Scholar
Curran, WS, Myers, M, Adler, P (2009) In search of effective grass control during switchgrass establishment. Page 49 in Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting of the Northeast. Lawrence, KS Weed Science Society of America Google Scholar
Curran, WS, Ryan, MR, Myers, M, Adler, P (2012) Effects of seeding date and weed control on switchgrass establishment. Weed Technol 26:248255 Google Scholar
Fast, BJ, Medlin, CR, Murray, DS (2009) Five cool-season annual grass weeds reduce hard red winter wheat grain yield and price. Weed Technol 23:206213 Google Scholar
Fickett, ND, Boerboom, CM, Stoltenberg, DE (2013a) Predicted corn yield loss due to weed competition prior to postemergence herbicide application on Wisconsin farms. Weed Technol 27:5462 Google Scholar
Fickett, ND, Boerboom, CM, Stoltenberg, DE (2013b) Soybean yield loss potential associated with early-season weed competition across 64 site–years. Weed Sci 61:500507 Google Scholar
Fike, JH, Parrish, DJ, Wolf, DD, Balasko, JA, Green, JT Jr., Rasnake, M, Reynolds, JH (2006) Long-term yield potential of switchgrass-for-biofuel systems. Biomass Bioenergy 30:198206 Google Scholar
Firbank, LG, Cousens, R, Mortimer, AM, Smith, RGR (1990) Effects of soil type on crop yield-weed density relationships between winter wheat and Bromus sterilis . J Appl Ecol 27:308318 Google Scholar
Fletcher, RJ Jr., Robertson, BA, Evans, J, Doran, PJ, Alavalapati, JRR, Schemske, DW (2011) Biodiversity conservation in the era of biofuels: risks and opportunities. Front Ecol Environ 9:161168 Google Scholar
Hsu, FH, Nelson, CJ, Matches, AG (1985) Temperature effects on seedling development of perennial warm-season forage grasses. Crop Sci 25:249255 Google Scholar
Jeschke, MR, Stoltenberg, DE, Kegode, GO, Sprague, CL, Knezevic, SZ, Hock, SM, Johnson, GA (2011) Predicted soybean yield loss as affected by emergence time of mixed-species weed communities. Weed Sci 59:416423 Google Scholar
Kering, MK, Chengjun Huo, SM, Interrante, SM, Hancock, DW, Butler, TJ (2013) Effect of various herbicides on warm-season grass weeds and switchgrass establishment. Crop Sci 53:666673 Google Scholar
Knezevic, SZ, Horak, MJ (1998) Influence of emergence time and density on redroot pigweed (Amaranthus retroflexus). Weed Sci 46:665672 Google Scholar
Launchbaugh, JL, Owensby, CE (1970) Seeding rate and first-year stand relationships for six native grasses. J Range Manag 23:414417 Google Scholar
Lee, DK, Owens, VN, Doolittle, JJ (2007) Switchgrass and soil carbon sequestration response to ammonium nitrate, manure, and harvest frequency on conservation reserve program land. Agron J 99:462468 Google Scholar
Leon, RG, Knapp, AD, Owen, MDK (2004) Effect of temperature on the germination of common waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus), giant foxtail (Setaria faberi), and velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti). Weed Sci 52:6773 Google Scholar
Liebig, MA, Schmer, MR, Vogel, KP, Mitchell, RB (2008) Soil carbon storage by switchgrass grown for bioenergy. Bioenergy Res 1:215222 Google Scholar
Lindquist, JL, Mortensen, DA, Clay, SA, Schmenk, R, Kells, JJ, Howatt, K, Westra, P (1996) Stability of corn (Zea mays)-velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti) interference relationships. Weed Sci 44:309313 Google Scholar
Miesel, J, Renz, MJ, Doll, JE, Jackson, RD (2012) Effectiveness of weed management methods in establishment of switchgrass and native species mixture for biofuels in Wisconsin. Biomass Bioenergy 36:121131 Google Scholar
Mitchell, R, Vogel, KP, Sarath, G (2008) Managing and enhancing switchgrass as a bioenergy feedstock. Biofuel Bioprod Bior 2:530539 Google Scholar
Mitchell, R, Vogel, KP, Berdahl, J, Masters, RA (2010) Herbicides for establishing switchgrass in the Central and Northern Great Plains. Bioenergy Res 3:321327 Google Scholar
Moechnig, MJ, Stoltenberg, DE, Boerboom, CM, Binning, LK (2003) Empirical corn yield loss estimation from common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) and giant foxtail (Setaria faberi) in mixed communities. Weed Sci 51:386393 Google Scholar
Mortimer, AM, Firbank, LG (1983) Towards a rationale for the prediction of weed infestations and the assessment of control strategies. Pages 146153 in Proceedings of the 10th International Congress of Plant Protection. Croydon, UK British Crop Protection Council Google Scholar
Murphy, C, Lemerle, D, Jones, R, Harden, S (2002) Use of density to predict crop yield loss between variable seasons. Weed Res 42:377384 Google Scholar
Myers, M, Adler, P, Curran, W (2006) Evaluation of weed control during switchgrass establishment with postemergence herbicides. Page 175 in Proceedings of the 5th Eastern Native Grass Conf. Harrisburg, PA USDA NRCS and USDA-ARS Google Scholar
Parrish, DJ, Fike, JH (2005) The biology and agronomy of switchgrass for biofuels. Crit Rev Plant Sci 24:423459 Google Scholar
Patterson, DT (1985) Comparative ecophysiology of weeds and crop. Volume I. Pages 101129 in Duke, SO, ed. Weed Physiology. Boca Raton, FL CRC Google Scholar
R Development Core Team (2010) R: A Language and Environment for Statistical Computing. Vienna, Austria R Foundation for Statistical Computing Google Scholar
Ratkowsky, DA, ed (1990) Handbook of Nonlinear Regression Models. Volume 107. New York Marcel Dekker, Pp. 7594 Google Scholar
Renz, MJ (2011) Effect of PRE and POST herbicides on the establishment and productivity of switchgrass in Wisconsin. Page 111 in Proceedings of the 66th Annual Meeting of the North Central Weed Science Society. Milwaukee, WI North Central Weed Science Society Google Scholar
Renz, MJ, Jackson, RD, Ruark, MD (2012) Sustainability of Switchgrass for Biofuel in Southwestern Wisconsin, Final Report. Madison, WI Focus on Energy, Environmental and Economic Research and Development Program. 30 pGoogle Scholar
Rinella, MJ, Haferkamp, MR, Masters, RA, Muscha, JM, Bellows, SE, Vermeire, LT (2010a) Growth regulator herbicides prevent invasive annual grass seed production. Invasive Plant Sci Manag 3:1216 Google Scholar
Rinella, MJ, Masters, RA, Bellows, SE (2010b) Growth regulator herbicides prevent invasive annual grass seed production under field conditions. Rangeland Ecol Manag 63:487490 Google Scholar
Robertson, BA, Doran, PJ, Loomis, LR, Robertson, JR, Schemske, DW (2011) Perennial biomass feedstocks enhance avian diversity. Glob Change Biol Bioenergy 3:235246 Google Scholar
Schmer, MR, Vogel, KP, Mitchell, RB, Moser, LE, Eskridge, KM, Perrin, RK (2006) Establishment stand threshold on field-scale switchgrass grown as a bioenergy crop. Crop Sci 46:157161 Google Scholar
Tamado, T, Ohlander, L, Milberg, R (2002) Interference by the weed Parthenium hysterophorus L. with grain sorghum: influence of weed density and duration of competition. Int J Pest Manag 48:183188 Google Scholar
U. S. Congress, House of Representatives (2007) Energy Independence Act of 2007. Washington D.C.: House Document 6, 100th Cong., 1st Sess.; January 4, 2007.Google Scholar
Vogel, KP (1996) Energy production from forages (or American agriculture—back to the future). J Soil Water Conserv 51:137139 Google Scholar
Vogel, KP (2004) Switchgrass. Pages 561588 in Moser, LE, Sollenberger, L, Burson, B, eds. Warm-season (C4) grasses. Madison, WI ASA-CSSA-SSSA Monograph Google Scholar
Vogel, KP, Masters, RA (2001) Frequency grid: a simple tool for measuring grassland establishment. J Range Manag 54:653655 Google Scholar
Wang, T, Shi, Y, Li, Y, Song, Y, Darmency, H (2010) Population growth rate of Setaria viridis in the absence of herbicide: resulting yield loss in foxtail millet Setaria italica . Weed Res 50:228234 Google Scholar
Whish, JPM, Sindel, BM, Jessop, RS, Felton, WL (2002) The effect of row spacing and weed density on yield loss of chickpea. Aust J Agric Res 53:13351340 Google Scholar
Wilson, RG Jr. (1995) Effect of imazethapyr on perennial grasses. Weed Technol 9:187191 Google Scholar
Wu, M, Yonas, D, Yan, E (2012) Simulated impact of future biofuel production on water quality and water cycle dynamics in the Upper Mississippi river basin. Biomass Bioenergy 41:4445 Google Scholar