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A 3-yr field study was conducted in Keiser, AR, to investigate the response of the naturally occurring weed flora, dominated by Palmer amaranth, under various combinations of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD)-inhibiting herbicide-based programs and crop rotation sequences. In the first year, corn plots were established with three corn HPPD-based herbicide programs designed to represent a range of efficacies and selection pressures for resistance. In the following two years, corn as monoculture or with soybean and/or cotton crops was included in the rotation sequence for selected herbicide programs. Weed emergence, weed biomass, and soil seedbank were assessed through the entire experimental period. The results show that crop rotation, especially a rotation sequence with corn followed by (fb) soybean fb cotton, and the lowest-risk herbicide program involving seven sites of action over the course of the entire crop rotation was effective in reducing the emergence of naturally occurring weeds, including Palmer amaranth, prickly sida, morningglory species, and grass weeds (broadleaf signalgrass, large crabgrass, barnyardgrass, and johnsongrass) by 88.3%, 57.5%, 28.7%, and 76.3%, respectively. Treatments without crop rotation (corn as monoculture for 3 consecutive years) and poor herbicide programs, with one site of action, increased weed emergence, notably of Palmer amaranth and prickly sida, by 73.5% and 74.1%, respectively. The soil seedbank showed a similar trend to weed emergence. This study highlights the fact that reducing the weed seedbank cannot rely on one management practice but requires a multitactic approach with various control methods. HPPD-inhibiting herbicide programs seem to be effective on Palmer amaranth when coupled with crop rotation and should be used with other best management practices.
Italian ryegrass is a major weed in winter cereals in the south-central United States. Harvest weed seed control (HWSC) tactics that aim to remove weed seed from crop fields are a potential avenue to reduce Italian ryegrass seedbank inputs. To this effect, a 4-yr, large-plot field study was conducted in College Station, Texas, and Newport, Arkansas, from 2016 to 2019. The treatments were arranged in a split-plot design. The main-plot treatments were (1) no narrow-windrow burning (a HWSC strategy) + disk tillage immediately after harvest, (2) HWSC + disk tillage immediately after harvest, and (3) HWSC + disk tillage 1 mo after harvest. The subplot treatments were (1) pendimethalin (1,065 g ai ha−1; Prowl H2O®) as a delayed preemergence application (herbicide program #1), and (2) a premix of flufenacet (305 g ai ha−1) + metribuzin (76 g ai ha−1; Axiom®) mixed with pyroxasulfone (89 g ai ha−1; Zidua® WG) as an early postemergence application followed by pinoxaden (59 g ai ha−1; Axial® XL) in spring (herbicide program #2). After 4 yr, HWSC alone was significantly better than no HWSC. Herbicide program #2 was superior to herbicide program #1. Herbicide program #2 combined with HWSC was the most effective treatment. The combination of herbicide program #1 and standard harvest practice (no HWSC; check) led to an increase in fall Italian ryegrass densities from 4 plants m−2 in 2017 to 58 plants m−2 in 2019 at College Station. At wheat harvest, Italian ryegrass densities were 58 and 59 shoots m−2 in check plots at College Station and Newport, respectively, whereas the densities were near zero in plots with herbicide program #2 and HWSC at both locations. These results will be useful for developing an improved Italian ryegrass management strategy in this region.
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.
Benzobicyclon is a new pro-herbicide being evaluated in the Midsouth United States as a post-flood weed control option in rice. Applications of benzobicyclon to flooded rice are necessary for efficacious herbicide activity, but why this is so remains unknown. Two greenhouse experiments were conducted to explore how herbicide placement (foliage only, flood water only, foliage and flood water simultaneously) and adjuvants (nonionic surfactant, crop oil concentrate, and methylated seed oil [MSO]) affect herbicide activity. The first experiment focused on importance of herbicide placement. Little to no herbicidal activity (<18% visual control) was observed on two- to four-leaf barnyardgrass, Amazon sprangletop, and benzobicyclon-susceptible weedy rice with benzobicyclon treatments applied to weed foliage only. In contrast, applications made only to the flood water accounted for >82% of the weed control and biomass reduction achieved when benzobicyclon was applied to flood water and foliage simultaneously. The second experiment concentrated on adjuvant type and benzobicyclon efficacy when applied to foliage and flood water simultaneously. At 28 days after treatment, benzobicyclon alone at 371 g ai ha−1 provided 29% and 67% control of three- to five-leaf barnyardgrass and Amazon sprangletop, respectively. The inclusion of any adjuvant significantly increased control, with MSO providing near-complete control of barnyardgrass and Amazon sprangletop. Furthermore, we used the physiochemical properties of benzobicyclon and benzobicyclon hydrolysate to derive theories to explain the complex activity of benzobicyclon observed in our study and in field trials. Benzobicyclon applications should contain an oil-based adjuvant and must be applied to flooded rice fields for optimal activity.
Soybean consultants from Arkansas, Louisiana, southeast Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee were surveyed in 2016 to assess weed management practices and the prevalence of herbicide-resistant weeds in midsouthern U.S. soybean production. The consultants surveyed represented 13%, 28%, 8%, 16%, and 5% of the total soybean area planted in Arkansas, Louisiana, southeast Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee, respectively. Of the total scouted area, 78% of the consultants said their growers planted glyphosate-resistant soybean in 2016, with 18% planting glufosinate-resistant (LibertyLink®), primarily due to familiarity with and cost of the technology. Although 94% of the consultants determined that glufosinate was most effective on killing Palmer amaranth, the primary concern associated with controlling herbicide-resistant weeds was the associated cost, followed by return profit and time constraints. Palmer amaranth, morningglory species, horseweed, barnyardgrass, and Italian ryegrass were the five most problematic weeds in soybean across the five states. Palmer amaranth was the most problematic and important weed in each state individually. The increased concern (77% of consultants) with this species was attributed to the rising concern with and occurrence of protoporphyrinogen oxidase–resistant Palmer amaranth. Consultants were of the opinion that more research was needed on cover crops and the new traited technologies in order to improve weed management in soybean.
Harvest weed seed control is an alternative non-chemical approach to weed management that targets escaped weed seeds at the time of crop harvest. Relatively little is known on how these methods will work on species in the US. Two of the most prominent weeds in soybean production in the midsouthern US are Palmer amaranth and barnyardgrass. Typically, when crop harvesting occurs the weed seed has already either shattered or is taken into the combine and may be redistributed in the soil seedbank. This causes further weed seed spread and may contribute to the addition of resistant seeds in the seedbank. There is little research on how much seed is retained on different weed species at or beyond harvest time. Thus, the objective of this study was to determine the percentage of total Palmer amaranth and barnyardgrass seed production that was retained on the plant during delayed soybean harvest. Retained seed over time was similar between 2015 and 2016, but was significantly different between years for only Palmer amaranth. Seed retention did not differ between years for either weed species. Palmer amaranth and barnyardgrass retained 98 and 41% of their seed at soybean maturity and 95 and 32% of their seed one month after soybean maturity, respectively. Thus, this research indicates that if there are escaped Palmer amaranth plants and soybean is harvested in a timely manner, most seed will enter the combine and offer potential for capture or destruction of these seeds using harvest weed seed control tactics. While there would be some benefit to using HWSC for barnyardgrass, the utility of this practice on mitigating herbicide resistance would be less pronounced than that of Palmer amaranth because of the reduced seed retention or early seed shatter.
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