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Assessment of weed and crop fitness in cover crop residues for integrated weed management

  • Martin M. Williams, David A. Mortensen (a1) and John W. Doran (a2)


Cover crop residues are not widely used for weed control because, as a stand-alone tactic, they do not effectively suppress all weeds and their duration of weed control is too short. Field experiments were conducted in 1995 and 1996, under both irrigated and rainfed conditions, to quantify Amaranthus spp., Setaria spp., and soybean emergence and growth in residues of fall-planted, spring-killed barley, rye, triticale, wheat, and hairy vetch. For both weed species, seedling emergence was reduced 3 wk after soybean planting by rye and wheat residues (≥ 2, 170 kg ha−1) in 1996. In 1996, Amaranthus spp. canopy volume was reduced 38 to 71% by residues 3 wk after planting. Likewise, Setaria spp. canopy biomass was reduced 37 to 97% in residues 5 wk after planting over both years. The response comparison index was used to identify frequency by which weed growth was placed at a disadvantage relative to soybean growth. Amaranthus spp. and Setaria spp. growth suppressions 3 to 5 wk after planting indicate potential times for intervention with other integrated weed management tactics such as reduced postemergence herbicide rates and interrow cultivation.


Corresponding author

Corresponding author. Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0915;


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Weed Science
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  • EISSN: 1550-2759
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