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In the Mid-Atlantic United States, there is increasing interest in delaying cereal rye termination until after soybean planting (i.e., planting green). Improved understanding of cereal rye seeding rate effects is needed to balance weed and agronomic management goals. We investigated the effects of cereal rye seeding rates on weed control and crop performance when planting green in complementary experiments in two Mid-Atlantic regions. The Pennsylvania experiment was replicated at three site-years and the Delaware experiment at two site-years. In both experiments, population-level weed responses were evaluated across four cereal rye seeding rates: 0, 51, 101, and 135 kg ha−1. The Delaware experiment also implemented a nitrogen treatment factor (0 and 34 kg N ha−1; spring applied). Both experiments showed that integrating cereal rye in the fall significantly improved winter- and summer-annual weed suppression compared with the fallow control, but no differences in total cereal rye biomass production or weed suppression were found among alternative cereal rye seeding rates (51 to 135 kg ha−1). Soybean yield did not differ among treatments in any of the studies. These results show there is no reason to increase cereal rye seeding rates for weed suppression services or to decrease seeding rates for agronomic reasons (i.e., soybean population and yield) when employing planting-green tactics in no-till soybean production within the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.
Following the introduction of dicamba-resistant (DR) soybean in 2017, concerns have increased with regard to dicamba off-target movement (OTM) onto sensitive crops, including vegetables. Field trials were conducted in New Jersey, New York, and Delaware to evaluate cucumber (‘Python’), eggplant (‘Santana’), and snap bean (‘Caprice’ and ‘Huntington’) injury and yield response to simulated dicamba drift rates. Crops were exposed to dicamba applied at 0, 0.056, 0.11, 0.56, 1.12, 2.24 g ae ha–1, representing 0, 1/10,000, 1/5,000, 1/1,000, 1/500, and 1/250 of the maximum soybean recommended label rate (560 g ae ha–1), respectively. Dicamba was applied either at the early vegetative (V2) or early reproductive (R1) stages. Minimal to no injury, vine growth reduction, or yield loss was noted for cucumber. Dicamba was more injurious to eggplant with up to 22% to 35% injury 2 wk after treatment (WAT) at rate ≥1.12 g ae ha–1; however, only the highest dicamba rate caused 27% reduction of the commercial yield compared to the nontreated control. Eggplant also showed greater sensitivity when dicamba exposure occurred at the R1 than at theV2 stage. Snap bean was the most sensitive crop investigated in this study. Injury 2 WAT was greater for ‘Caprice’ with dicamba ≥0.56 g ae ha–1 applied at V2 compared to R1 stage, whereas a similar difference occurred as low as 0.056 g ae ha–1 for ‘Huntington’. Compared to the nontreated control, reduction in plant height and biomass accumulation occurred for both cultivars at dicamba rate ≥0.56 g ae ha–1. Dicamba applied at 1.12 g ae ha–1 or greater resulted in 30% yield loss for ‘Caprice’, whereas ‘Huntington’ yield dropped 52% to 93% with dicamba ≥0.56 g ae ha–1. ‘Caprice’ bean yield was not influenced by dicamba timing of application. Conversely, ‘Huntington’ bean yield decreased by 8% following application at R1 compared to V2 stage.
Dicamba is a synthetic auxin herbicide that may be applied over the top of transgenic dicamba-tolerant crops. The increasing prevalence of herbicide-resistant weeds has resulted in increased reliance on dicamba-based herbicides in soybean production systems. Because of the high volatility of dicamba it is prone to off-target movement, and therefore concern exists regarding its drift onto nearby specialty crops. The present study evaluates 12 mid-Atlantic vegetable crops species for sensitivity to sublethal rates of dicamba. Soybean, snap bean, lima bean, tomato, eggplant, bell pepper, cucumber, summer squash, watermelon, pumpkin, sweet basil, lettuce, and kale were grown in a greenhouse and exposed to dicamba at 0, 0.056, 0.11, 0.28, 0.56, 1.12, 2.24 g ae ha−1, which is, respectively, 0, 1/10,000, 1/5,000, 1/2,000, 1/1,000, 1/500, and 1/250 of the maximum recommended label rate for soybean application (560 g ae ha−1). Vegetable crop injury was evaluated 4 wk after treatment using visual rating methods and leaf deformation index measurements. Overall, snap bean was the most sensitive crop, with dicamba rates as low as 0.11 g ae ha−1 resulting in significantly higher leaf deformation levels compared with the nontreated control. Other Fabaceae and Solanaceae species also demonstrated high sensitivity to sublethal rates of dicamba with rates ranging 0.28 to 0.56 g ae ha−1 causing higher leaf deformation compared with the nontreated control. While cucumber, pumpkin, and summer squash were no or moderately sensitive to dicamba, watermelon showed greater sensitivity with unique symptoms at rates as low as 0.056 g ae ha−1 based on visual evaluation. Within the range of tested dicamba rates, sweet basil, lettuce, and kale demonstrated tolerance to dicamba with no injury observed at the maximum rate of 2.24 g ae ha−1.
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.
Yield losses due to weeds are a major threat to wheat production and economic well-being of farmers in the United States and Canada. The objective of this Weed Science Society of America (WSSA) Weed Loss Committee report is to provide estimates of wheat yield and economic losses due to weeds. Weed scientists provided both weedy (best management practices but no weed control practices) and weed-free (best management practices providing >90% weed control) average yield from replicated research trials in both winter and spring wheat from 2007 to 2017. Winter wheat yield loss estimates ranged from 2.9% to 34.4%, with a weighted average (by production) of 25.6% for the United States, 2.9% for Canada, and 23.4% combined. Based on these yield loss estimates and total production, the potential winter wheat loss due to weeds is 10.5, 0.09, and 10.5 billion kg with a potential loss in value of US$2.19, US$0.19, and US$2.19 billion for the United States, Canada, and combined, respectively. Spring wheat yield loss estimates ranged from 7.9% to 47.0%, with a weighted average (by production) of 33.2% for the United States, 8.0% for Canada, and 19.5% combined. Based on this yield loss estimate and total production, the potential spring wheat loss is 4.8, 1.6, and 6.6 billion kg with a potential loss in value of US$1.14, US$0.37, and US$1.39 billion for the United States, Canada, and combined, respectively. Yield loss in this analysis is greater than some previous estimates, likely indicating an increasing threat from weeds. Climate is affecting yield loss in winter wheat in the Pacific Northwest, with percent yield loss being highest in wheat-fallow systems that receive less than 30 cm of annual precipitation. Continued investment in weed science research for wheat is critical for continued yield protection.
Palmer amaranth is an extremely troublesome weed for soybean growers because of its aggressive growth, adaptability, prolific seed production, and widespread resistance to many herbicides. Studies were initiated to determine the effects of herbicide application at first female inflorescence on Palmer amaranth control, biomass, seed production, cumulative germination, and seed viability. Enlist (2,4-D–resistant) soybean and Xtend (dicamba-resistant) soybean were planted and various combinations of either 2,4-D or dicamba with and without glufosinate and/or glyphosate were applied at first visible female Palmer amaranth inflorescence. Mixtures of 2,4-D + glufosinate and 2,4-D + glufosinate + glyphosate provided the greatest control at 4 wk after treatment in Enlist soybean. Similarly, in Xtend soybean, combinations of dicamba + glufosinate and dicamba + glufosinate + glyphosate provided the greatest control. The greatest reductions in biomass were from combinations of auxin herbicides (2,4-D or dicamba) plus glufosinate with and without glyphosate. Seed production was reduced most by treatments containing at least one effective site of action: an auxin herbicide (2,4-D or dicamba) or glufosinate. In contrast to previous research, cumulative germination and seed viability were not affected by herbicide treatments. This research indicates the efficacy of auxin herbicides or glufosinate alone and in combination to reduce the seed production of Palmer amaranth when applied at first female inflorescence. More research is needed to evaluate the full potential for applications of these herbicides at flower initiation to mitigate the evolution of herbicide resistance.
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.
Intensified cover-cropping practices are increasingly viewed as a herbicide-resistance management tool but clear distinction between reactive and proactive resistance management performance targets is needed. We evaluated two proactive performance targets for integrating cover-cropping tactics, including (1) facilitation of reduced herbicide inputs and (2) reduced herbicide selection pressure. We conducted corn (Zea mays L.) and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] field experiments in Pennsylvania and Delaware using synthetic weed seedbanks of horseweed [Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronquist] and smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus L.) to assess winter and summer annual population dynamics, respectively. The effect of alternative cover crops was evaluated across a range of herbicide inputs. Cover crop biomass production ranged from 2,000 to 8,500 kg ha−1 in corn and 3,000 to 5,500 kg ha−1 in soybean. Experimental results demonstrated that herbicide-based tactics were the primary drivers of total weed biomass production, with cover-cropping tactics providing an additive weed-suppression benefit. Substitution of cover crops for PRE or POST herbicide programs did not reduce total weed control levels or cash crop yields but did result in lower net returns due to higher input costs. Cover-cropping tactics significantly reduced C. canadensis populations in three of four cover crop treatments and decreased the number of large rosettes (>7.6-cm diameter) at the time of preplant herbicide exposure. Substitution of cover crops for PRE herbicides resulted in increased selection pressure on POST herbicides, but reduced the number of large individuals (>10 cm) at POST applications. Collectively, our findings suggest that cover crops can reduce the intensity of selection pressure on POST herbicides, but the magnitude of the effect varies based on weed life-history traits. Additional work is needed to describe proactive resistance management concepts and performance targets for integrating cover crops so producers can apply these concepts in site-specific, within-field management practices.
Weeds can cause significant yield loss in watermelon production systems. Commercially acceptable weed control is difficult to achieve, even with heavy reliance on herbicides. A study was conducted to evaluate a spring-seeded cereal rye cover crop with different herbicide application timings for weed management between row middles in watermelon production systems. Common lambsquarters and pigweed species (namely, Palmer amaranth and smooth pigweed) densities and biomasses were often lower with cereal rye compared with no cereal rye, regardless of herbicide treatment. The presence of cereal rye did not negatively influence the number of marketable watermelon fruit, but average marketable fruit weight in cereal rye versus no cereal rye treatments varied by location. These results demonstrate that a spring-seeded cereal rye cover crop can help reduce weed density and weed biomass, and potentially enhance overall weed control. Cereal rye alone did not provide full-season weed control, so additional research is needed to determine the best methods to integrate spring cover cropping with other weed management tactics in watermelon for effective, full-season control.
Rapeseed is a popular cover crop choice due to its deep-growing taproot, which creates soil macropores and increases water infiltration. Brassicaceae spp. that are mature or at later growth stages can be troublesome to control. Experiments were conducted in Delaware and Virginia to evaluate herbicides for terminating rapeseed cover crops. Two separate experiments, adjacent to each other, were established to evaluate rapeseed termination by 14 herbicide treatments at two timings. Termination timings included an early and late termination to simulate rapeseed termination prior to planting corn and soybean, respectively, for the region. At three locations where rapeseed height averaged 12 cm at early termination and 52 cm at late termination, glyphosate + 2,4-D was most effective, controlling rapeseed 96% 28 d after early termination (DAET). Paraquat + atrazine + mesotrione (92%), glyphosate + saflufenacil (91%), glyphosate + dicamba (91%), and glyphosate (86%) all provided at least 80% control 28 DAET. Rapeseed biomass followed a similar trend. Paraquat + 2,4-D (85%), glyphosate + 2,4-D (82%), and paraquat + atrazine + mesotrione (81%) were the only treatments that provided at least 80% control 28 d after late termination (DALT). Herbicide efficacy was less at Painter in 2017, where rapeseed height was 41 cm at early termination, and 107 cm at late termination. No herbicide treatments controlled rapeseed >80% 28 DAET or 28 DALT at this location. Herbicide termination of rapeseed is best when the plant is small; termination of large rapeseed plants may require mechanical of other methods beyond herbicides.
Commercial mushroom producers grow several varieties of mushrooms on compost. Upon completion of the growing cycle, the spent mushroom compost is often sold as a soil amendment for both agricultural and homeowner use. Mushroom compost ingredients often come from fields infested with weeds, and in turn compost may spread unwanted weed seed. We conducted studies to assess the viability of weed seed following specific stages of the commercial mushroom production process. Weed seed was more likely to survive if the entire production process was not completed. However, no viable hairy vetch, Italian ryegrass, ivyleaf morningglory, Palmer amaranth, or velvetleaf remained at the end of the study. Although the seeds of most species were eliminated earlier in the composting process, ivyleaf morningglory required the complete process to eliminate 100% of the seed. These results indicate that spent mushroom compost is free of many weed species upon removal from mushroom houses and is unlikely to spread weed seed.
Grape hyacinth is a perennial bulbous species in the Liliaceae. It is commonly grown as an ornamental plant, but it can spread into agricultural fields and become weedy, potentially interfering with harvest and fall-planted crops. There has been limited research on controlling grape hyacinth in cropping systems. Fall and spring applied field-research studies were conducted to determine grape hyacinth control with herbicides labeled for use in wheat or winter fallow before planting soybean. Among fall-applied herbicides, paraquat resulted in the greatest initial grape hyacinth control (90% to 100%). Grape hyacinth control, 16 months after application (MAA), was variable, but the top-performing treatments were glyphosate and metsulfuron plus paraquat, resulting in 65% and 50% control, respectively. After spring applications, grape hyacinth control in November (7 MAA) was variable, but top-performing treatments were glyphosate and metsulfuron, which resulted in at least 26% control. Spring-applied paraquat, carfentrazone, metsulfuron, and sulfosulfuron resulted in 73%, 68%, 69%, and 60% reductions in grape hyacinth bulb counts, compared with the nontreated control 7 MAA, and were the top-performing treatments. Despite product-label prohibitions on rotation to soybeans, no soybean yield reductions were observed from any treatment in either study. Single applications of certain herbicides in the fall or spring can result in good control (>80%) of grape hyacinth initially, but long-term control is poor, and additional research is required.
Timely herbicide applications for no-till soybean can be challenging given the diverse communities of both winter and summer annual weeds that are often present. Research was conducted to compare various approaches for nonselective and preplant weed control for no-till soybean. Nonselective herbicide application timings of fall (with and without a residual herbicide) followed by early-spring (4 wk before planting), late-spring (1 to 2 wk before planting), or sequential-spring applications (4 wk before planting and at planting) were compared. Spring applications also included a residual herbicide. For consistent control of winter annual weeds, two herbicide applications were needed, either a fall application followed by a spring application or sequential-spring applications. When a fall herbicide application did not include a residual herbicide, greater winter annual weed control resulted from early- or sequential-spring treatments. However, application timings that effectively controlled winter annual weeds did not effectively control summer annual weeds that have a prolonged emergence period. Palmer amaranth and large crabgrass control at 4 wk after planting was better when the spring residual treatment (chlorimuron plus metribuzin) was applied 1 to 2 wk before planting or at planting, compared with 4 wk before planting. Results indicate that in order to optimize control, herbicide application programs in soybean should coincide with seasonal growth cycles of winter and summer annual weeds.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
Cover crop–based, organic rotational no-till (CCORNT) corn and soybean systems have been developed in the mid-Atlantic region to build soil health, increase management flexibility, and reduce labor. In this system, a roller-crimped cover crop mulch provides within-season weed suppression in no-till corn and soybean. A cropping system experiment was conducted in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Delaware to test the cumulative effects of a multitactic weed management approach in a 3-yr hairy vetch/triticale–corn–cereal rye–soybean–winter wheat CCORNT rotation. Treatments included delayed planting dates (early, intermediate, late) and supplemental weed control using high-residue (HR) cultivation in no-till corn and soybean phases. In the no-till corn phase, HR cultivation decreased weed biomass relative to the uncultivated control by 58%, 23%, and 62% in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, respectively. In the no-till soybean phase, HR cultivation decreased weed biomass relative to the uncultivated treatment planted in narrow rows (19 to 38 cm) by 20%, 41%, and 78% in Delaware, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, respectively. Common ragweed was more dominant in soybean (39% of total biomass) compared with corn (10% of total biomass), whereas giant foxtail and smooth pigweed were more dominant in corn, comprising 46% and 22% of total biomass, respectively. Common ragweed became less abundant as corn and soybean planting dates were delayed, whereas giant foxtail and smooth pigweed increased as a percentage of total biomass as planting dates were delayed. At the Pennsylvania location, inconsistent termination of cover crops with the roller-crimper resulted in volunteer cover crops in other phases of the rotation. Our results indicate that HR cultivation is necessary to achieve adequate weed control in CCORNT systems. Integration of winter grain or perennial forages into CCORNT systems will also be an important management tactic for truncating weed seedbank population increases.
Information on the effects of multiple weed management tactics in corn is needed to develop integrated weed management systems. The effectiveness and compatibility of an in-row cultivator as compared to a standard interrow cultivator used with reduced rates of a soil-applied herbicide, rotary hoeing, and/or a bioeconomic model for POST herbicide selection was examined. Weed control with a single rotary hoeing at corn emergence controlled annual weeds similarly to two rotary hoeings. One-third recommended use rate of alachlor controlled weeds similarly to a two-thirds rate. Reduced rates of alachlor controlled more weeds than rotary hoeing over 2 yr. The in-row cultivator required early-season weed control (rotary hoeing or reduced alachlor rate) for optimum efficacy. The in-row cultivator provided better weed control than the standard cultivator while the cost of operating the two cultivators was similar. Thus, the in-row cultivator was more efficient than the standard cultivator. Furthermore, less intensive early-season weed control was required with the in-row cultivator for maximum weed control as compared to the standard cultivator. Rotary hoeing plus the in-row cultivator provided similar weed control to other weed management tactics that required both soil-applied and POST herbicides. Gross margin was influenced more by corn yield than cost of weed management tactics.
Spurred anoda is an increasing weed problem in Colorado pinto bean production. This research was designed to evaluate reduced rates of bentazon and imazethapyr applied at various times for spurred anoda control and profitability. In 1993, spurred anoda control with early applications of either bentazon or imazethapyr was superior to late applications. Bentazon provided better spurred anoda control than imazethapyr in June. Spurred anoda control in 1993 was better than in 1994 due to late-emerging weeds and herbicide treatments not providing residual control. In 1994, bentazon controlled spurred anoda better than imazethapyr 1 and 3 wk after late POST, but no treatment provided commercially acceptable full-season control. The number of treatments with gross margins greater than the untreated check increased as pinto bean prices increased, but ranking of gross margin did not change due to pinto bean prices.