Mathematical growth analysis techniques were used to study the effects of simulated field temperatures and chilling events on the growth of the exotic noxious weed itchgrass (Rottboellia exaltata L. f.) and adapted varieties of corn (Zea mays L. ‘DeKalb XL43’ and ‘DeKalb XL395′), and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr. ‘Corsoy’, ‘Williams', and ‘Tracy’] in climate-controlled greenhouses and growth chambers. Itchgrass grew vigorously and produced seed in temperature regimes simulating the warmest 4 months of the growing season in the Gulf Coast states (30/25 C, day/night), the central Midwest (27/21 C), and the northern Midwest (23/18 C). At 30/25 C day/night, itchgrass produced 707 g of dry matter and 1907 seed per plant after 119 days. Itchgrass produced 621 g dry matter and 1429 seed at 27/21 C and 499 g dry matter and 1160 seed at 23/18 C. Itchgrass and adapted varieties of corn and/or soybeans were grown in four additional temperature regimes simulating the first 5 weeks of the growing seasons for corn and soybean at Madison, Wisconsin (19/11 C day/night); for soybean at Carbondale, Illinois (24/20 C); for corn at Waycross, Georgia (20/14 C); and for soybean at Baton Rouge, Louisiana (27/23 C). After 24 days of growth, half the plants in each regime were exposed to 3 days of chilling (11/4 C for Madison, 17/10 C for Carbondale, 15/6 C for Waycross, and 24/18 C for Baton Rouge) and returned to the original growth regimes for recovery. The chilling treatments reduced dry matter production, net assimilation rate, and leaf area duration more in itchgrass than in corn or soybean. After recovery, the previously chilled itchgrass plants had greater reductions in height, leaf area, and dry weight, compared to unchilled controls, than did corn or soybean. Weed/crop ratios in height, leaf area, and dry weight for itchgrass/corn were significantly reduced by chilling. In the two cooler regimes, weed/crop ratios in leaf area and dry weight for itchgrass/soybean were significantly reduced by chilling. Because of its sensitivity to cool temperatures, itchgrass, is unlikely to be an important early-season competitor with corn or with soybean outside the South.