Seed shatter is an important weediness trait on which the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) depends. The level of seed shatter in a species is likely influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed shatter of eight economically important grass weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to four weeks after maturity at multiple sites spread across eleven states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic U.S. From soybean maturity to four weeks after maturity, cumulative percent seed shatter was lowest in the southern U.S. regions and increased as the states moved further north. At soybean maturity, the percent of seed shatter ranged from 1 to 70%. That range had shifted to 5 to 100% (mean: 42%) by 25 days after soybean maturity. There were considerable differences in seed shatter onset and rate of progression between sites and years in some species that could impact their susceptibility to HWSC. Our results suggest that many summer annual grass species are likely not ideal candidates for HWSC, although HWSC could substantially reduce their seed output at during certain years.
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