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Corn that is resistant to aryloxyphenoxypropionate, known commercially as Enlist™ corn, enables the use of quizalofop-p-ethyl (QPE) as a selective postemergence (POST) herbicide for control of glufosinate/glyphosate-resistant corn volunteers. Growers usually mix QPE with 2,4-D choline or glufosinate or both to achieve broad-spectrum weed control in Enlist corn. The objectives of this study were 1) to evaluate the efficacy of QPE applied alone or mixed with 2,4-D choline and/or glufosinate to control glufosinate/glyphosate-resistant corn volunteers in Enlist corn and 2) to determine the effect of application time (V3 or V6 growth stage of volunteer corn) of QPE-based treatments on volunteer corn control and Enlist corn injury and yield. Field experiments were conducted in Clay Center, NE, in 2021 and 2022. Quizalofop-p-ethyl (46 or 93 g ai ha−1) applied at the V3 or V6 growth stage controlled volunteer corn by ≥88% and ≥95% at 14 and 28 d after treatment (DAT), respectively. QPE (46 g ai ha−1) mixed with 2,4-D choline (800 g ae ha−1) produced 33% less than expected control of V3 volunteer corn in 2021, and 8% less than expected control of V6 volunteer corn in 2022 at 14 DAT. Volunteer corn control was improved by 7% to 9% using the higher rate of QPE (93 g ai ha−1) in a mixture with 2,4-D choline (1,060 g ae ha−1). QPE mixed with glufosinate had an additive effect and interactions in any combinations were additive beyond 28 DAT. Mixing 2,4-D choline can reduce QPE efficacy on glufosinate/glyphosate-resistant corn volunteers up to 14 DAT when applied at the V3 or V6 growth stage; however, the antagonistic interaction did not translate into corn yield loss. Increasing the rate of QPE (93 g ai ha−1) while mixing with 2,4-D choline can reduce antagonism.
Seed retention, and ultimately seed shatter, are extremely important for the efficacy of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) and are likely influenced by various agroecological and environmental factors. Field studies investigated seed-shattering phenology of 22 weed species across three soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]-producing regions in the United States. We further evaluated the potential drivers of seed shatter in terms of weather conditions, growing degree days, and plant biomass. Based on the results, weather conditions had no consistent impact on weed seed shatter. However, there was a positive correlation between individual weed plant biomass and delayed weed seed–shattering rates during harvest. This work demonstrates that HWSC can potentially reduce weed seedbank inputs of plants that have escaped early-season management practices and retained seed through harvest. However, smaller individuals of plants within the same population that shatter seed before harvest pose a risk of escaping early-season management and HWSC.
Potential effectiveness of harvest weed seed control (HWSC) systems depends upon seed shatter of the target weed species at crop maturity, enabling its collection and processing at crop harvest. However, seed retention likely is influenced by agroecological and environmental factors. In 2016 and 2017, we assessed seed-shatter phenology in 13 economically important broadleaf weed species in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] from crop physiological maturity to 4 wk after physiological maturity at multiple sites spread across 14 states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic United States. Greater proportions of seeds were retained by weeds in southern latitudes and shatter rate increased at northern latitudes. Amaranthus spp. seed shatter was low (0% to 2%), whereas shatter varied widely in common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) (2% to 90%) over the weeks following soybean physiological maturity. Overall, the broadleaf species studied shattered less than 10% of their seeds by soybean harvest. Our results suggest that some of the broadleaf species with greater seed retention rates in the weeks following soybean physiological maturity may be good candidates for HWSC.
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 4 wk after maturity at multiple sites spread across 11 states in the southern, northern, and mid-Atlantic United States. From soybean maturity to 4 wk after maturity, cumulative percent seed shatter was lowest in the southern U.S. regions and increased moving north through the states. 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 d 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 during certain years.
Understanding how plants alter their growth in response to interplant competition is an overlooked but complex problem. Previous studies have characterized the effect of light and water stress on soybean or common ragweed growth in monoculture, but no study has characterized soybean and common ragweed growth in mixture. A field study was conducted in 2015 and 2016 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to characterize the growth response of soybean and common ragweed with different irrigation levels and intraspecific and interspecific interference. The experiment was arranged in a split-plot design with irrigation level (0, 50%, 100% replacement of simulated evapotranspiration) as the main plot and common ragweed density (0, 2, 6, 12 plants m−1 row) as the subplot. Crop- and weed-free controls and three mixture treatments were included as subplots. Periodic destructive samples of leaf area and biomass of different organ groups were collected, and leaf area index (LAI), aboveground biomass partitioning, specific leaf area (SLA), and leaf area ratio (LAR) were calculated. Additionally, soybean and common ragweed yield were harvested, and 100-seed weight and seed production were determined. Soybean did not alter biomass partitioning, SLA, or LAR in mixture with common ragweed. Soybean LAI, biomass, and seed size were affected by increasing common ragweed density. Conversely, common ragweed partitioned less new biomass to leaves and increased SLA in response to increased interference. Common ragweed LAI, biomass, and seed number were reduced by the presence of soybean and increasing common ragweed density; however, seed weight was not affected. Results show that adjustment in biomass partitioning, SLA, and LAR is not the method that soybean uses to remain plastic under competition for light. Common ragweed demonstrated plasticity in both biomass partitioning and SLA, indicating an ability to maintain productivity under intra- and inter-specific competition for light or soil resources.
Although sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench ssp. bicolor] is the fifth most important grain crop in terms of global production, no commercial hybrids carry genetically engineered (GE) traits for resistance to insect pests or herbicides due to regulatory concerns about gene flow to weedy relatives. However, non-GE herbicide resistance currently is being developed in grain sorghum and will likely transfer to related weeds. Monitoring the impact of this new nuclear technology on the evolution and invasiveness of related weeds requires a baseline understanding of the population biology of grain sorghum genes once they transfer to in situ weed populations. We previously characterized the rate of gene flow from grain sorghum to shattercane [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench nothosubsp. drummondii (Steud.) de Wet ex. Davidse], a conspecific weed relatively common in North America; as well as the ecological fitness of an F1 population when S. bicolor nothosubsp. drummondii was the maternal parent. Here we report the ecological fitness of a S. bicolor nothosubsp. drummondii × S. bicolor ssp. bicolor F2 population relative to its crop and weed parents. Parental and F2 populations were grown in two Nebraska environments in 2012 and 2013. Traits evaluated included overwinter survival, field emergence, biomass production and partitioning at anthesis, total seed production, and 100-seed weight. Results indicated that F2 traits were generally intermediate between the parents, but more similar to S. bicolor nothosubsp. drummondii than to grain sorghum. The one exception was overwinter survival, which was nearly 0% for both the F2 and the grain sorghum parent in these northern environments. Thus, the frequency of crop alleles stably introgressed into S. bicolor nothosubsp. drummondii populations appears to primarily depend on overwinter survival of the F2 and which selective pressures are imposed upon it by the cropping system. These data provide needed baseline information about the environmental fate of nuclear genetic technologies deployed in this important global crop.
Spring tillage is a component of an integrated weed management strategy for control of early emerging glyphosate-resistant weeds such as common ragweed; however, the effect of tillage on common ragweed emergence pattern is unknown. The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether spring tillage during emergence would influence the emergence pattern or stimulate additional emergence of common ragweed and to characterize common ragweed emergence in southeast Nebraska. A field experiment was conducted for three years (2014 to 2016) in Gage County, Nebraska in a field naturally infested with glyphosate-resistant common ragweed. Treatments consisted of a no-tillage control and three spring tillage timings. The Soil Temperature and Moisture Model (STM2) software was used to estimate soil temperature and moisture at a 2-cm depth. The Weibull function was fit to total common ragweed emergence (%) with day of year (DOY), thermal time, and hydrothermal time as independent variables. Tillage treatments and year had no effect on total common ragweed emergence (P=0.88 and 0.35, respectively) and time to 10, 25, 50, 75, and 90% emergence (P=0.31). However, emergence pattern was affected by year (P=<0.001) with 50% total emergence reached on May 5 in 2014, April 20 in 2015, and April 2 in 2016 and 90% total emergence reached on May 12, 2014, May 8, 2015, and April 30, 2016. According to the corrected information-theoretic model comparison criterion (AICc), the Weibull function with thermal time and base temperature of 3 C best explained the emergence pattern over three years. This study concludes that spring tillage does not stimulate additional emergence; therefore, after the majority of the common ragweed has emerged and before the crop has been planted, tillage could be used as an effective component of an integrated glyphosate-resistant common ragweed management program in Nebraska.
Field studies were conducted at Rosemount, MN, in 1992 and 1993 to quantify the demographic processes regulating the population dynamics of velvetleaf in soybean as part of a corn-soybean rotation. A consistent 6.8 ± 0.5% of the total velvetleaf seedbank emerged each year. Less than 21% of all velvetleaf seedlings survived each year in mixture with soybean, due in part to Verticillium spp wilt infection. The probability of seedling survival varied across time of emergence. Velvetleaf seed production in the absence of crop competition was 125 and 227 seeds plant−1 in 1992 and 1993, respectively. Velvetleaf plants that emerged early produced greater numbers of seed than later emerging plants. Velvetleaf survival and seed production were reduced up to 82% in the presence of crop competition. Soybean yield varied across soybean densities in both years, but was not reduced across velvetleaf densities.
The crop-weed interference relationship is a critical component of bioeconomic weed management models. Multi-year field experiments were conducted at five locations to determine the stability of corn-velvetleaf interference relationships across years and locations. Two coefficients (I and A) of a hyperbolic equation were estimated for each data set using nonlinear regression procedures. The I and A coefficients represent percent corn yield loss as velvetleaf density approaches zero, and maximum percent corn yield loss, respectively. The coefficient I was stable across years at two locations, but varied across years at one location. The coefficient A did not vary across years within locations. Both coefficients, however, varied among locations. Results do not support the use of common coefficient estimates for all locations within a region.
A simulation model of rice-barnyardgrass competition for light was used for two management applications. First, simulations using 47 weather data sets from four locations in Asia were conducted to evaluate the influence of weather variation on single year economic threshold densities of barnyardgrass. Second, rapid leaf area expansion and leaf area index were evaluated as potential indicators of improved rice competitiveness and tolerance to barnyardgrass. Influence of weather variation on single year economic thresholds was small under the assumption that competition was for light only. Increasing early leaf area expansion rate reduced simulated barnyardgrass seed production and increased single year economic thresholds, suggesting that the use of competitive rice cultivars may reduce the need for chemical weed control. The model predicted that rice leaf area index 70 to 75 d after planting was a good indicator of early leaf area expansion rate.
The methods used to teach weed identification at 20 U.S. universities were obtained for comparison through a telephone survey in December, 1986, and January, 1987. Weed identification is taught as a portion (30%) of the laboratory section in introductory weed science courses. Only five have a separate weed identification course. Field trips frequently are used to teach weed identification. Students must learn from 50 to 125 weed species with some seedling identification. Pressed plant collections of approximately 50 weed species normally are required. Most instructors strongly suggest using live plants and repetition for long-term learning.
Improved crop tolerance and weed suppressive ability are tactics that may reduce the negative effect of weeds on crop yield. Irrigated field experiments were conducted to compare leaf area index (LAI), intercepted photosynthetic photon flux (PPF), and relative tolerance and velvetleaf suppressive ability among two old (circa 1940) and two modern corn hybrids. Each hybrid was grown in monoculture and in mixture with velvetleaf at 1, 4, 16, and 40 plants m−1 row. Plants were periodically harvested in monoculture plots to obtain estimates of corn LAI, and PPF interception was measured. Variation in hybrid tolerance to velvetleaf competition for light was evaluated by comparing among hybrids the coefficients of a regression of corn yield loss on velvetleaf density. Velvetleaf seed capsule production in the presence of each hybrid was compared to evaluate variation in velvetleaf suppressive ability among hybrids. Maximum corn yield loss was 32% lower for the two old hybrids, and velvetleaf capsule production was reduced by 62% at low velvetleaf densities in 1995 compared to the modern hybrids. In 1996, yield loss of the modern hybrid 3394 was 74% lower than that of the other three hybrids at low velvetleaf densities, whereas maximum yield loss of the old hybrid 336 was 44% lower at high densities. Velvetleaf capsule production did not vary among hybrids at any velvetleaf density in 1996. Hybrids with greater tolerance and velvetleaf suppressive ability also had greater LAI and PPF interception, suggesting optimized corn LAI and PPF interception may be useful in an integrated weed management program.
Three methods of predicting the impact of weed interference on crop yield and expected economic return were compared to evaluate the economic importance of weed spatial heterogeneity. Density of three weed species was obtained using a grid sampling scheme in 11 corn and 11 soybean fields. Crop yield loss was predicted assuming densities were homogeneous, aggregated following a negative binomial with known population mean and k, or aggregated with weed densities spatially mapped. Predicted crop loss was lowest and expected returns highest when spatial location of weed density was utilized to decide whether control was justified. Location-specific weed management resulted in economic gain as well as a reduction in the quantity of herbicide applied.
Variation in interference relationships have been shown for a number of crop-weed associations and may have an important effect on the implementation of decision support systems for weed management. Multiyear field experiments were conducted at eight locations to determine the stability of corn-foxtail interference relationships across years and locations. Two coefficients (I and A) of a rectangular hyperbola equation were estimated for each data set using nonlinear regression procedures. The I and A coefficients represent percent corn yield loss as foxtail density approaches zero and maximum percent corn yield loss, respectively. The coefficient I was stable across years at two locations and varied across years at four locations. Maximum yield loss (A) varied between years at one location. Both coefficients varied among locations. Although 3 to 4 foxtail plants m−-1 row was a conservative estimate of the single-year economic threshold (Tc) of foxtail density, variation in I and A resulted in a large variation in Tc. Therefore, the utility of using common coefficient estimates to predict future crop yield loss from foxtail interference between years or among locations within a region is limited.
A simulation model was developed to predict the population dynamics and economics of velvetleaf control in a corn-soybean rotation. Data compiled from the literature were used to parameterize the model for two situations, one in which velvetleaf was infected by a Verticillium spp. wilt and one without infection. Verticillium was assumed to have no effect on corn or soybean yield. In the absence of control, simulated seedbank densities of a Verticillium-infected velvetleaf population were 5 to 50 times lower than for an uninfected velvetleaf population. The model was used to evaluate a threshold weed management strategy under the assumption that velvetleaf was the only weed and bentazon the only herbicide available for its control. In the absence of Verticillium, an economic optimum threshold of 2.5 seedlings 100 m−2 afforded the highest economic returns after 20 yr of simulation. Simulations in which velvetleaf was infected in 8 out of 20 randomly assigned years indicated a 6% increase in annualized net return and an 11 % reduction in the number of years that control was necessary. Sensitivity analysis indicated the parameter estimates having the greatest impact on economic optimum threshold were seedling emergence and survival, maximum seed production, and herbicide efficacy. Under an economic optimum threshold of 2.5 seedlings 100 m−2, management practices that manipulate the most sensitive demographic processes increased annualized net return by up to 13% and reduced long-term herbicide use by up to 26%. Results demonstrate that combining an economic optimum threshold with alternative weed management strategies may increase economic return and reduce herbicide use.
Weeds that respond more to nitrogen fertilizer than crops may be more competitive under high nitrogen (N) conditions. Therefore, understanding the effects of nitrogen on crop and weed growth and competition is critical. Field experiments were conducted at two locations in 1999 and 2000 to determine the influence of varying levels of N addition on corn and velvetleaf height, leaf area, biomass accumulation, and yield. Nitrogen addition increased corn and velvetleaf height by a maximum of 15 and 68%, respectively. N addition increased corn and velvetleaf maximum leaf area index (LAI) by up to 51 and 90%. Corn and velvetleaf maximum biomass increased by up to 68 and 89% with N addition. Competition from corn had the greatest effect on velvetleaf growth, reducing its biomass by up to 90% compared with monoculture velvetleaf. Corn response to N addition was less than that of velvetleaf, indicating that velvetleaf may be most competitive at high levels of nitrogen and least competitive when nitrogen levels are low. Corn yield declined with increasing velvetleaf interference at all levels of N addition. However, corn yield loss due to velvetleaf interference was similar across N treatments except in one site–year, where yield loss increased with increasing N addition. Corn yield loss due to velvetleaf interference may increase with increasing N supply when velvetleaf emergence and early season growth are similar to that of corn.
Row spacing and the relative time of velvetleaf emergence affects the time of soybean canopy closure relative to velvetleaf, influencing the growth and development of velvetleaf. Field studies were conducted in northeastern Nebraska in 2002 and 2003 to describe velvetleaf growth as influenced by soybean presence or absence (velvetleaf grown with soybean or in monoculture), soybean row spacing (19 and 76 cm), and relative time of velvetleaf emergence. Velvetleaf seed production, leaf area (LA), and total dry matter (TDM) were greater in 76-cm- than in 19-cm-wide soybean rows. LA, TDM, and seed production of velvetleaf were reduced with later emergence times in both monoculture and with soybean. Velvetleaf LA, TDM, and seed production decreased when grown with soybean compared with when grown in monoculture. Practical implications of this study suggest that narrowing crop row spacing and controlling early-emerging velvetleaf in soybean can be an effective part of an integrated weed management strategy.
Knowledge of how reduction in the rate of herbicide application or rotation of their mode of action influences weed growth will provide insight into how successful these practices will be in an integrated weed management program. Field experiments were conducted in 1996 and 1997 to quantify velvetleaf growth response to three postemergence herbicides, each with a different mode of action. A monoculture of velvetleaf was treated with halosulfuron, dicamba, and flumiclorac at 0, 0.10, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 1.0 × the labeled rate for weed control in corn. Percent plant mortality increased with rate of application; the greatest mortality occurred in flumiclorac treatments in 1996 and in halosulfuron and flumiclorac treatments in 1997. Growth rate temporarily decreased as application rate increased. Maximum height decreased as rate of application increased, with the dicamba treatment resulting in the greatest (27%) reduction. Early-season leaf area index decreased with increasing rate of application, the greatest reduction occurring with halosulfuron (1997) and flumiclorac (1996 and 1997) treatments. The number of leaves produced per plant was temporarily reduced by all treatments, but treatment with dicamba later resulted in larger numbers of small leaves. The number of velvetleaf seed capsules produced per surviving plant was not reduced by any treatment, but the number of capsules per square meter was reduced by the 0.5 × rate of flumiclorac (1996) and the 0.5- and 1.0 × rates of halosulfuron (1997). Research is needed to evaluate whether the temporary suspension of velvetleaf growth after herbicide treatment is sufficient to prohibit crop yield reduction and velvetleaf capsule production.
Weed seedbanks have been studied intensively at local scales, but to date, there have been no regional-scale studies of weed seedbank persistence. Empirical and modeling studies indicate that reducing weed seedbank persistence can play an important role in integrated weed management. Annual seedbank persistence of 13 summer annual weed species was studied from 2001 through 2003 at eight locations in the north central United States and one location in the northwestern United States. Effects of seed depth placement, tillage, and abiotic environmental factors on seedbank persistence were examined through regression and multivariate ordinations. All species examined showed a negative relationship between hydrothermal time and seedbank persistence. Seedbank persistence was very similar between the two years of the study for common lambsquarters, giant foxtail, and velvetleaf when data were pooled over location, depth, and tillage. Seedbank persistence of common lambsquarters, giant foxtail, and velvetleaf from October 2001 through 2002 and October 2002 through 2003 was, respectively, 52.3% and 60.0%, 21.3% and 21.8%, and 57.5% and 57.2%. These results demonstrate that robust estimates of seedbank persistence are possible when many observations are averaged over numerous locations. Future studies are needed to develop methods of reducing seedbank persistence, especially for weed species with particularly long-lived seeds.
Field and growth chamber experiments determined the efficacy of temporal glyphosate applications on velvetleaf. Glyphosate was applied postemergence to velvetleaf periodically before and during light and after dark. In 1999, glyphosate at 840 g ae/ha applied before sunrise and after midday provided 54 and 100% velvetleaf control, respectively. In 2000, glyphosate at 840 g/ha applied before sunrise, midday, and after sunset provided 69, 100, and 37% velvetleaf control, respectively. In the growth chamber, glyphosate at 840 g/ha applied before or after light reduced velvetleaf biomass 15 to 20% or 32 to 47%, respectively, and reduced velvetleaf height 24% or 45 to 54%, respectively. Velvetleaf control was consistently greater with glyphosate applications during light compared with dark, regardless of constant air temperature and relative humidity (growth chamber), dew absence or presence (field and growth chamber), or leaf blade orientation (growth chamber) with natural light–dark movements or a fixed horizontal position.