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Russian thistle is one of the most important broadleaf weeds in the semiarid U.S. Pacific Northwest. It consumes soil water after wheat harvest, compromising the yield of the following crop. The objectives of this work were to determine the impact of post–wheat harvest herbicide application timing on Russian thistle control and of stubble height on Russian thistle postharvest control and plant dispersal. For the first objective, experiments were conducted at the Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center, Adams, OR (CBARC), and the Lind Dryland Research Station, Lind, WA (LDRS), in 2020 and 2021. Herbicides evaluated included paraquat, glyphosate, and either bromoxynil + pyrasulfotole (CBARC) or bromoxynil + metribuzin (LDRS). The different post–wheat harvest application timings were 24 h and 1, 2, and 3 wk after harvest. For the second objective, two stubble heights (short and tall) were compared for their impact on control at CBARC and in a production field near Ione, OR. Paraquat provided the greatest control in all scenarios, with no differences in application timings or stubble height. Impacts of application timings were not clear for glyphosate or bromoxynil mixtures. For glyphosate treatments, control in short stubble was 11% greater than in tall stubble in both years. Control was also greater in short stubble for the bromoxynil + pyrasulfotole application in 2020. However, Russian thistle plant dispersal was greater in short stubble at both locations. At CBARC, plant dispersal in short stubble was 58%, compared to 18% in tall stubble. Near Ione, plant dispersal in flattened stubble was 88%, compared to 43% in nonflattened short stubble. Leaving tall stubble at harvest should be considered to reduce Russian thistle plant dispersal if the infestation is going to be left untreated after harvest; otherwise, short stubble might result in better Russian thistle control when using systemic herbicides, such as glyphosate.
Smooth scouringrush is a creeping perennial with a high silica content in stems that may impede herbicide uptake. Smooth scouringrush has become a troublesome weed in no-till cropping systems across eastern Washington. In previous field studies, glyphosate provided inconsistent control of smooth scouringrush. The objective of this study was to determine if the addition of an organosilicone surfactant to glyphosate would improve the efficacy and consistency of control through stomatal flooding. To test this hypothesis, glyphosate was applied at three field sites at 3.78 kg ae ha–1 alone, with an organosilicone surfactant (OS1 or OS2), an organosilicone plus nonionic surfactant blend, or an alcohol-based surfactant applied during the day or at night. Stem counts were recorded 1 yr after herbicide applications. Five of the six effective treatments observed across the three study sites included organosilicone surfactant or an organosilicone plus nonionic surfactant blend. At two sites, when there was a difference in efficacy between application times; daytime applications were more effective than nighttime applications. These results support the hypothesis of stomatal flooding as a likely mechanism for enhanced efficacy of glyphosate with the addition of an organosilicone surfactant. However, at one site, the treatments containing organosilicone surfactant were more efficacious when applied at night than during the day. At this site, high daytime temperatures and low relative humidity may have resulted in rapid evaporation of spray droplets. The addition of an organosilicone surfactant to glyphosate is recommended for smooth scouringrush control, and daytime treatments are preferred but should be applied when temperatures and humidity are not conducive to rapid droplet drying. Further research is necessary to confirm that stomatal flooding is responsible for improved glyphosate efficacy.
Rush skeletonweed is an invasive weed in the winter wheat–fallow production regions of the inland Pacific Northwest. The objectives of this study were to determine the dose response of rush skeletonweed to picloram applied in the fall or spring of the fallow year with either a broadcast or weed-sensing sprayer, and to evaluate injury and grain yield in the subsequent winter wheat crop from these fallow treatments. Field studies were conducted between 2019 and 2022. Fall treatments were applied at one site in 2019, and one site in 2020. Spring treatments were applied at two sites in 2021. Four picloram herbicide rates (0, 140, 280, and 560 g ae ha−1), were applied with either a weed-sensing precision applicator or with a standard broadcast spray applicator. Rush skeletonweed densities in the wheat crop following fall-applied treatments declined with increasing picloram rates at both sites. Treatments applied with the weed-sensing sprayer achieved similar efficacy to broadcast treatments with an average of 37% and 26% of the broadcast rate applied. Spring-applied broadcast treatments resulted in reduced rush skeletonweed densities in wheat with increasing picloram rates. Picloram rate had no apparent effect on rush skeletonweed density when applied in the spring with a weed-sensing sprayer; however, the weed-sensing sprayer applied just 16% and 9% of the broadcast rate. Winter wheat grain yields were not reduced by fall picloram applications. Grain yields were not reduced by spring applications of picloram with the weed-sensing sprayer; however, grain yields were reduced by spring broadcast applications of picloram at both locations, and grain yields declined as the picloram rate increased. Applying picloram in the fall of the fallow phase with a weed-sensing sprayer provides effective and economical control of rush skeletonweed with a low risk for crop injury and yield loss in the following winter wheat crop.
Smooth scouringrush has invaded no-till production fields across the US Pacific Northwest. The ability of Equisetum species to take up and accumulate silica on the epidermis and in cell walls may affect herbicide uptake. The objectives of this study were to measure the silica concentration in smooth scouringrush stems over time, and to determine how time of application affects the efficacy of glyphosate for smooth scouringrush control, with and without the addition of an organosilicone surfactant (OSS). Field studies were conducted at three sites in eastern Washington from 2019 to 2021. Three herbicide treatments (no herbicide, glyphosate, and glyphosate + OSS) were applied at four application times (May, June, July, and August) in 2019 fallow. The silica content of smooth scouringrush stems increased over the course of the 2019 growing season at all three sites. In 2020, smooth scouringrush stem densities were reduced when the 2019 herbicide treatments were applied in late June (12% of no herbicide density) compared to late July (24%) or August (30%). Smooth scouringrush stem densities at all three sites, in both 2020 and 2021, were reduced in the glyphosate + OSS treatment compared to glyphosate alone. In 2021, 2 yr after herbicide application, there was no effect of application timing for the glyphosate treatment without OSS, but stem densities were reduced when glyphosate + OSS was applied in late June (1%) compared with applications in late July (26%) or late August (21%). It is not clear if the cause of reduced glyphosate efficacy with late July and late August applications is the result of increased silica content in smooth scouringrush stems over time. Maximum glyphosate efficacy on smooth scouringrush was achieved with an application in late June and with the addition of an OSS. Control of smooth scouringrush with glyphosate + OSS can be sustained for at least 2 yr after application.
Rush skeletonweed is an invasive weed in winter wheat (WW)/summer fallow (SF) rotations in the low to intermediate rainfall areas of the inland Pacific Northwest. Standard weed control practices are not effective, resulting in additional SF tillage or herbicide applications. The objective of this field research was to identify herbicide treatments that control rush skeletonweed during the SF phase of the WW/SF rotation. Trials were conducted near LaCrosse, WA, in 2017–2019 and 2018–2020, and near Hay, WA, in 2018–2020. The LaCrosse 2017–2019 trial was in tilled SF; the other two trials were in no-till SF. Fall postharvest applications in October included clopyralid, clopyralid plus 2,4-D, clopyralid plus 2,4-D plus chlorsulfuron plus metsulfuron, aminopyralid, picloram, and glyphosate plus 2,4-D. Spring treatments of clopyralid, aminopyralid, and glyphosate were applied to rush skeletonweed rosettes. Summer treatments of 2,4-D were applied when rush skeletonweed initiated bolting. Plant density was monitored through the SF phase in all plots. Picloram provided complete control of rush skeletonweed through June at all three locations. Fall-applied clopyralid, clopyralid plus 2,4-D, and clopyralid followed by 2,4-D in summer reduced rush skeletonweed through June at the two LaCrosse sites but were ineffective at Hay. In August, just prior to WW seeding, the greatest reductions in rush skeletonweed density were achieved with picloram and fall-applied clopyralid at the two LaCrosse sites. No treatments provided effective control into August at Hay. Wheat yield in the next crop compared to the nontreated control was reduced only at one LaCrosse site by a spring-applied aminopyralid treatment, otherwise no other reductions were found. Long-term control of rush skeletonweed in WW/SF may be achieved by a combination of fall application of picloram, after wheat harvest, followed by an effective burn-down treatment in August prior to WW seeding.
The benefits of no-till fallow, which include reduced soil erosion, improved soil health, and increased stored soil water, are in jeopardy because of the widespread development of glyphosate resistance in Russian thistle. The objective of this research was to evaluate the efficacy of soil-active, residual herbicides for Russian thistle control in no-till fallow. The combinations of sulfentrazone + carfentrazone and flumioxazin + pyroxasulfone, and metribuzin alone were each applied in late fall, late winter, and split-applied in late fall and late winter at three sites: Adams, OR, in 2017–2018; Lind, WA, in 2018–2019; and Ralston, WA, in 2019–2020. All treatments provided good to excellent control of the initial flush of Russian thistle when assessed in mid-May, except the late-fall application of metribuzin at all three sites, and the late-fall application of sulfentrazone + carfentrazone at Adams. Cumulative Russian thistle densities, evaluated monthly throughout the fallow season, were lowest for the sulfentrazone + carfentrazone treatments, except for the late-fall application at Adams. However, flumioxazin + pyroxasulfone and metribuzin provided greater control of tumble mustard and prickly lettuce than did sulfentrazone + carfentazone. Sulfentrazone + carfentrazone, flumioxazin + pyroxasulfone, and metribuzin can all be used for Russian thistle control in fallow. To reduce the risk for crop injury to subsequently planted winter wheat, a late-fall application of sulfentrazone + carfentrazone may be the preferred treatment in low-rainfall regions where winter wheat–fallow is commonly practiced. A late-winter application may be preferred in higher rainfall regions where a 3-year rotation (e.g., winter wheat–spring wheat–fallow) is common. Flumioxazin + pyroxasulfone should be considered if other broadleaf weeds, such as tumble mustard or prickly lettuce, are of concern. The use of these soil-applied herbicides will reduce the need for the frequent application of glyphosate for Russian thistle control in no-till fallow.
Harvest weed seed control (HWSC) may control problematic weeds by decreasing contributions to the weed seedbank. However, HWSC practices will not be effective if plants have shed a great part of their seeds before harvest or if a low proportion of seed production is retained at a height that enables collection during harvest. The seed-shattering pattern of several weed species was evaluated over three growing seasons to determine their potential to be controlled with HWSC in the Pacific Northwest (PNW). The studied weed species were downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.), feral rye (Secale cereale L.), Italian ryegrass [Lolium perenne L. ssp. multiflorum (Lam.) Husnot], and rattail fescue [Vulpia myuros (L.) C.C. Gmel.]. Seed retention at harvest, seed production, and plant height differed among species, locations, and years. Environmental conditions influenced seed-shattering patterns, particularly the time plants started to shatter seeds and the rate of the shattering. Agronomic factors such as herbicide use, interrow space, or crop height/vigor also seemed to affect shattering patterns and seed production, but more specific studies must be conducted to determine their individual effects. Bromus tectorum, L. perenne ssp. multiflorum, and V. myuros had an average seed retention at harvest of less than 50%. In addition, the low seed retention height of V. myuros makes this species a poor candidate for HWSC. Secale cereale had average seed retention at harvest greater than 50%, and seed retention height was greater than 30 cm. The variability of seed retention in different species will make the efficacy of HWSC practices species and environment dependent in PNW winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cropping systems. Harvesting the wheat crop as early as possible will be crucial to the success of HWSC.
Rush skeletonweed is an aggressive perennial weed that establishes itself on land in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), and persists during cropping following contract expiration. It depletes critical soil moisture required for yield potential of winter wheat. In a winter wheat/fallow cropping system, weed control is maintained with glyphosate and tillage during conventional fallow, and with herbicides only in no-till fallow. Research was conducted for control of rush skeletonweed at two sites in eastern Washington, Lacrosse and Hay, to compare the effectiveness of a weed-sensing sprayer and broadcast applications of four herbicides (aminopyralid, chlorsulfuron + metsulfuron, clopyralid, and glyphosate). Experimental design was a split-plot with herbicide and application type as main and subplot factors, respectively. Herbicides were applied in the fall at either broadcast or spot-spraying rates depending on sprayer type. Rush skeletonweed density in May was reduced with use of aminopyralid (1.1 plants m−2), glyphosate (1.4 plants m−2), clopyralid (1.7 plants m−2), and chlorsulfuron + metsulfuron (1.8 plants m−2) compared with the nontreated check (2.6 plants m−2). No treatment differences were observed after May 2019. There was no interaction between herbicide and application system. Area covered using the weed-sensing sprayer was, on average, 52% (P < 0.001) less than the broadcast application at the Lacrosse location but only 20% (P = 0.01) at the Hay location. Spray reduction is dependent on foliar cover in relation to weed density and size. At Lacrosse, the weed-sensing sprayer reduced costs for all herbicide treatments except aminopyralid, with savings up to US$6.80 per hectare. At Hay, the weed-sensing sprayer resulted in economic loss for all products because of higher rush skeletonweed density. The weed-sensing sprayer is a viable fallow weed control tool when weed densities are low or patchy.
The adoption of chemical fallow rotations in Pacific Northwest dryland winter wheat production has caused a weed species composition shift in which scouringrush has established in production fields. Thus, there has been interest in identifying herbicides that effectively control scouringrush in winter wheat–chemical fallow cropping systems. Field experiments were established in growers’ fields near Reardan, WA, in 2014, and The Dalles, OR, in 2015. Ten herbicide treatments were applied to mowed and nonmowed plots during chemical fallow rotations. Scouringrush stem densities were quantified the following spring and after wheat harvest at both locations. Chlorsulfuron plus MCPA-ester resulted in nearly 100% control of scouringrush through wheat harvest. Before herbicide application, mowing had no effect on herbicide efficacy. We conclude chlorsulfuron plus MCPA-ester is a commercially acceptable treatment for smooth and intermediate scouringrush control in winter wheat–chemical fallow cropping systems; however, the lack of a positive yield response when scouringrushes were controlled should factor into management decisions.
In 1994, the National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program was initiated with funding from a special USDA grant. The 15-yr program provided $4.1 million to support jointed goatgrass (Aegilops cylindrica Host.) research and technology transfer projects in 10 western states. These projects resulted in approximately 80 refereed manuscripts, including journal articles and extension publications. The research covered various topics related to the biology and ecology of jointed goatgrass as well as its management and control in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) production systems. This review summarizes the research on jointed goatgrass published after Donald and Ogg’s 1991 review, most of which was conducted as part of the USDA-funded National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program. Specific topics that were studied and reviewed here include A. cylindrica genetics, especially as it relates to gene flow and hybridization rates with wheat and fertility of the resulting hybrids; vernalization requirements; seed dormancy, longevity, and germination requirements; competitiveness with wheat; and herbicide resistance acquired through evolution or gene flow from wheat. With respect to management, a wide variety of practices were evaluated, including various tillage types and frequencies; crop rotations, especially diversified wheat production systems that include spring-seeded annual crops; competitive wheat cultivars, seeding dates, seeding density, and row spacing; fertility management, including nitrogen application timing and placement; and field burning. Finally, many studies evaluated the use of herbicides, especially the introduction of imazamox in imidazolinone-resistant wheat cultivars, as well as comparison of adjuvant systems and application timings. In addition to the many management practices that were studied individually, several integrated management systems were evaluated that combined crop rotations, tillage, and herbicide programs. Between 1993 and 2013, weed scientists in 14 western states estimated that jointed goatgrass infestations decreased by 45% to 55% and attributed the reduction to the implementation of more diverse crop rotations, improved cultural practices, and use of imazamox-resistant wheat technology. This is evidence that the practical implications of the National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program have been successfully implemented by growers throughout the western United States.
Rush skeletonweed is emerging as a regionally important weed of winter wheat production in eastern Washington. Field studies were conducted during the 2016 and 2017 crop years to evaluate several auxin herbicides applied at two seasonal timings (fall or spring) for control of rush skeletonweed in winter wheat. Clopyralid (210 g ae ha-1) provided>90% visual control of rush skeletonweed in both years of the study and aminopyralid (10 g ae ha-1) provided>80% visual control. Aminocyclopyrachlor, dicamba, and 2,4-D provided<55% control of rush skeletonweed. Season of application did not meaningfully affect efficacy of any herbicide tested. Wheat yields were reduced by 39 to 69% compared to the non-treated check when aminocyclopyrachlor was applied in the spring. Clopyralid is an effective option for control of rush skeletonweed in Pacific Northwest winter wheat.
The response of oat, foxtail millet, proso millet, and sunflower to atrazine and clomazone applied the previous fall was investigated two years in field studies near Akron, CO and Sidney, NE. Foxtail millet biomass, and proso millet and sunflower grain yields were not reduced when these crops were seeded into soil that had been treated the previous fall with atrazine and/or clomazone at rates of 0.6 or 1.1 kg ai/ha. Forage yield of oat was reduced 11 to 18% by some treatments, but this effect was not consistent over years or sites. Treatments containing 1.1 kg/ha of atrazine provided 1 to 5 wk of residual weed control in foxtail millet, proso millet, and sunflower. The study indicated that producers have flexibility in crop selection when using atrazine and clomazone in reduced- and no-till production systems.
Winter wheat grain contaminated with jointed goatgrass joints is often discounted as much as 20% by grain buyers. A mail survey to Nebraska farmers in 1984 identified jointed goatgrass as one of the ten worst weed problems in winter wheat, but a field survey to the same area in 1986 found it in less than 1% of surveyed fields. The objective of this survey was to map the geographic distribution and severity of jointed goatgrass contaminating winter wheat grain in western Nebraska. Jointed goatgrass was found in 25, 29, and 20% of all wheat samples collected in 1990, 1991, and 1992, respectively. Nebraska counties bordering Colorado were found to have the highest percentage of wheat samples contaminated with jointed goatgrass joints, ranging from 23% in Cheyenne county in 1992 to 61% in Keith county in 1991.
The tolerance of two proso millet cultivars to atrazine preemergence and postemergence applications of bromoxynil, clopyralid, dicamba, or metsulfuron plus amine formulations of 2,4-D was studied in the field. Proso millet grain yield, test weight, seed weight, moisture content, and plant height at harvest were not affected by any of the herbicide treatments, despite some early-season injury observed in 1990.
Crop yield loss–weed density relationships critically influence calculation of economic thresholds and the resulting management recommendations made by a bioeconomic model. To examine site-to-site and year-to-year variation in winter Triticum aestivum L. (winter wheat)–Aegilops cylindrica Host. (jointed goatgrass) interference relationships, the rectangular hyperbolic yield loss function was fit to data sets from multiyear field experiments conducted at Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. The model was fit to three measures of A. cylindrica density: fall seedling, spring seedling, and reproductive tiller densities. Two parameters: i, the slope of the yield loss curve as A. cylindrica density approaches zero, and a, the maximum percentage yield loss as A. cylindrica density becomes very large, were estimated for each data set using nonlinear regression. Fit of the model to the data was better using spring seedling densities than fall seedling densities, but it was similar for spring seedling and reproductive tiller densities based on the residual mean square (RMS) values. Yield loss functions were less variable among years within a site than among sites for all measures of weed density. For the one site where year-to-year variation was observed (Archer, WY), parameter a varied significantly among years, but parameter i did not. Yield loss functions differed significantly among sites for 7 of 10 comparisons. Site-to-site statistical differences were generally due to variation in estimates of parameter i. Site-to-site and year-to-year variation in winter T. aestivum–A. cylindrica yield loss parameter estimates indicated that management recommendations made by a bioeconomic model cannot be based on a single yield loss function with the same parameter values for the winter T. aestivum-producing region. The predictive ability of a bioeconomic model is likely to be improved when yield loss functions incorporating time of emergence and crop density are built into the model's structure.
The effects of the dimethylamine salt of dicamba (3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid) and the dimethylamine salt of 2,4-D [(2,4-dichlorophenoxy)acetic acid] on fieldbeans (Phaseolus vulgaris L. ‘Great Northern Valley’) were studied in order to assess the potential hazards of using these herbicides in areas adjoining fieldbean production. Dicamba and 2,4-D were applied to fieldbeans at three different rates (1.1, 11.2, and 112.5 g ai/ha) and four different growth stages (preemergence, second trifoliolate leaf, early bloom, and early pod). Application of 2,4-D preemergence or in the second trifoliolate leaf stage of growth did not reduce seed yield, delay maturity, or reduce germination of seed obtained from treated plants. Dicamba or 2,4-D applied at 112.5 g/ha to fieldbeans in the early bloom or early pod stages of growth consistently reduced seed yield, delayed maturity, and reduced germination percentage. Fieldbeans exhibited a greater overall sensitivity to dicamba than to 2,4-D.
Field studies were conducted from 1990 through 1997 to evaluate the long-term effect of 2- and 3-yr rotations on the control of downy brome, jointed goatgrass, and feral rye in winter wheat. At the completion of the study, jointed goatgrass and feral rye densities averaged 8 plants/m2 and < 0.1 plant/m2 for the 2- and 3-yr rotations, respectively. Downy brome densities averaged < 0.5 plant/m2 for both the 2- and 3-yr rotations, with no treatment differences observed. Winter annual grasses were not eradicated after two cycles of the 3-yr rotations, but weed densities were reduced 10-fold compared to densities after one cycle and more than 100-fold compared with the 2-yr rotations. Wheat grain contamination with dockage and foreign material followed a similar trend. The 3-yr rotations were economically competitive with 2-yr rotations and provided superior control of the winter annual grass weeds.
We compared applications of trifluralin or ethalfluralin granules incorporated with a sweep plow or pendimethalin (ec) applied without incorporation to incorporating trifluralin (ec) by tandem-disk harrowing for sunflower production. The study was established in winter wheat stubble at three sites in the northern and central Great Plains. Crop residues on the soil surface following sunflower planting was greater than 30% (level required to protect soil from erosion) with all conservation-tillage strategies, but not with disk incorporation. Weed control and sunflower seed yield with conservation-tillage strategies were similar to the disk incorporation practice, demonstrating that producers can use these strategies for sunflower production and to protect soil from erosion.
Proso millet is a short-season summer annual grass that is well adapted to the central Great Plains. Proso millet is commonly planted as a summer crop when winter wheat stands are lost due to adverse conditions. Sulfonylurea herbicides labeled for use in winter wheat prohibit planting proso millet for intervals up to 10 mo following application. A series of greenhouse and field studies determined proso millet tolerance to CGA-152005, metsulfuron, and triasulfuron soil residue. In the greenhouse, proso millet was not affected by soil-applied CGA-152005 at doses up to 160 g ai/ha, while metsulfuron and triasulfuron doses of 4 and 15 g ai/ha, respectively, inhibited proso millet biomass accumulation. In the field, metsulfuron and triasulfuron caused early season stunting and chlorosis at doses two to four times those recommended; however, grain yields were not affected. Organic matter and clay content were highly correlated with proso millet growth response to the herbicides under greenhouse conditions, but in the field, soil pH may have influenced herbicide bioavailability.
Two putative glyphosate-resistant (GR) Russian-thistle accessions were collected from fallow fields (wheat-fallow rotation): one from Choteau County, MT (MT-R), and a second from Columbia County, WA (WA-R) in summer/fall of 2015. Greenhouse and outdoor/field whole-plant dose-response studies were conducted to confirm and characterize the levels of glyphosate resistance in these GR accessions relative to known glyphosate-susceptible accessions (MT-S and WA-S from MT and WA, respectively). Based on GR50 values of the progeny plants, the MT-R accession exhibited 4.5-fold and 5.9-fold resistance to glyphosate relative to the MT-S accession under greenhouse and outdoor conditions, respectively. The WA-R accession showed 3.0- to 5.0-fold resistance relative to the WA-S accession in greenhouse experiments, and 1.9- to 7.5-fold resistance in multi-site field experiments. In a separate greenhouse study on alternative POST herbicides to control GR Russian-thistle, bicyclopyrone plus bromoxynil, bromoxynil plus fluroxypyr, bromoxynil plus pyrasulfotole, bromoxynil plus MCPA, paraquat alone, paraquat plus metribuzin, saflufenacil alone, saflufenacil plus 2,4-D, and 2,4-D plus bromoxynil plus fluroxypyr provided effective control (≥95%) and shoot dry weight reduction (up to 98%) of GR accessions. This research confirms the first global case of field-evolved GR Russian-thistle. Best management practices (BMPs); including alternative, effective herbicide programs (based on multiple mechanisms of action highlighted in this study) need immediate implementation to prevent further spread of GR or evolution of multiple HR Russian-thistle populations in this region.