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Intensifying crop–fallow systems could address increased weed control costs, increased land or rental costs, reduced crop diversity, and degraded soil properties in water-limited environments. One strategy to intensify such systems could be the insertion of a short-season crop during fallow. But, how this strategy affects soils, crop production, and farm economics needs further research. Thus, we studied the impacts of replacing fallow in a winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L)–corn (Zea mays L.)–fallow system with a short-season spring crop [field pea (Pisum sativum L.)] on crop yields and economics from 2015 to 2019 and 5-yr cumulative effects on soil properties using an experiment in the west-central US Great Plains. After 5 yr, replacing fallow with field pea increased microbial biomass by 294 nmol g−1 and plant available water by 0.08 cm3 cm−3, and reduced bulk density by 0.1 g cm−3 and cone index by 0.73 MPa in the 0–5 cm depth. It had, however, no effect on other soil properties. Field pea yield averaged 2.24 Mg ha−1. Field pea reduced subsequent crop yield by 15–25% in two of three crops compared with fallow. However, economic analysis showed replacing fallow with field pea may improve net income by $144–303 ha−1, although income across the 5 yr differed by $65 ha−1 in favor of fallow. Replacing fallow in winter wheat–corn–fallow rotation with a short-season spring crop offers promise to improve some near-surface soil properties while increasing net economic return during fallow under the conditions of this study.
Widespread occurrence of herbicide-resistant weeds and more variable weather conditions across the United States has made weed control in many crops more challenging. Preemergence (PRE) herbicides with soil residual activity have resurged as the foundation for early season weed control in many crops. Field experiments were conducted in Janesville and Lancaster, Wisconsin, in 2021 and 2022 (4 site-years) to evaluate the weed control efficacy of solo (single site of action [SOA]) and premix (two or more SOAs) PRE herbicides in conventional tillage corn. Treatments consisted of 18 PRE herbicides plus a nontreated check. At the Janesville-2021 site, S-metolachlor + bicyclopyrone + mesotrione, atrazine + S-metolachlor + bicyclopyrone + mesotrione, and clopyralid + acetochlor + mesotrione provided >72% giant ragweed control. At the Janesville-2022 site, none of the PRE herbicides evaluated provided >70% giant ragweed control due to the high giant ragweed density and the lack of timely rainfall. At the Lancaster-2021 site, atrazine, dicamba, and flumetsulam + clopyralid provided <45% waterhemp control, but the remaining treatments provided >90% control. At the Lancaster-2022 site, the efficacy of some PRE herbicides was reduced due to the high waterhemp density; however, most herbicides provided >75% control. At the Lancaster-2021 and Lancaster-2022 sites, only dicamba and S-metolachlor did not provide >75% common lambsquarters control. Group 15 PRE herbicides provided >75% control of giant foxtail. Across weed species, PRE herbicides with two (78%) and three (81%) SOAs provided greater weed control than PRE herbicides with a single SOA (68%), indicating that at least two SOA herbicides applied PRE result in better early season weed control. The efficacy of the PRE herbicide treatments evaluated herein varied according to the soil seedbank weed community composition and environmental conditions (i.e., rainfall following application), but the premixes were a more reliable option to improve early season weed control in conventional tillage corn.
Drill-interseeding cover crops into standing corn (V3 to V5 growth stage) provides opportunities for increasing functional diversity in cropping systems by facilitating use of cover crop mixtures that include grass, legume, and brassica species. Designing herbicide-based weed control programs that negotiate tradeoffs between crop protection and environmental goals when interseeding mixtures remains a major challenge. The objective of this study was to use greenhouse-based dose-response assays to describe the relative sensitivity of 12 cover crop species that differ in traits, including taxonomic group and seed mass, to chloroacetamide (acetochlor, dimethenamid, S-metolachlor; Group 15 herbicides as categorized by the Weed Science Society of America) and pyrazole (pyroxasulfone; Group 15) herbicides. Nonlinear models were fit, and effective doses were estimated (ED50) to compare relative sensitivities of cover crop species to each herbicide. Brassica species (winter canola, Dwarf Essex rape, daikon radish) were less sensitive than small-seeded legumes (medium red clover, crimson clover) and grasses (annual ryegrass) in response to each chloroacetamide, but similar in response to pyroxasulfone. Austrian winter pea, a large-seeded legume, was less sensitive to each herbicide compared to other legumes (crimson clover, medium red clover, hairy vetch). Cereal rye and triticale were less sensitive to dimethenamid, S-metolachlor, and pyroxasulfone compared to annual ryegrass, but similar sensitivities were observed for acetochlor. These results suggest that relative differences in sensitivity to chloroacetamide and pyrazole herbicides could be exploited when designing cover crop mixtures for interseeding. It is imperative, however, to use these findings in conjunction with field-based observations of cover crop injury potential in interseeded systems.
The development of an integrated weed management (IWM) strategy for control of multiple herbicide-resistant (MHR) waterhemp can provide field crop producers with a strategy to deplete the number of waterhemp seeds in the soil seedbank. Field experiments were established on two commercial farms in Ontario, Canada, with MHR waterhemp in 2017. The number of waterhemp seeds in the seedbank at the Cottam and Walpole Island sites prior to establishing the experiments was 413 and 40 million seeds ha−1, respectively. The goal of this 9-yr study is to document the depletion in the number of waterhemp seeds in the seedbank after Years 3, 6, and 9 (spring 2020, 2023, and 2026) and to identify management practices that can reduce the number of waterhemp seeds by 95% or more. Relative to the number of seeds in the soil seedbank when the experiment was initiated, at the Cottam site after 3 yr of this experiment, in the “control” treatment (continuous soybean seeded in rows spaced 75 apart, and sprayed with glyphosate) there was a numeric 31% increase in the number of waterhemp seeds in the seedbank; in contrast, in the three-crop rotation of corn/soybean/winter wheat (with or without a cover crop after winter wheat harvest), soybean seeded in rows spaced 37.5 cm apart, with herbicide applications using a total of eight different herbicide modes of action resulted in a 65% to 66% decrease in the number of waterhemp seeds in the soil seedbank. At the Walpole Island site after 3 yr of this experiment, the number of waterhemp seeds in the seedbank was not affected by the IWM programs evaluated. Results indicate that a diversified integrated waterhemp management program dramatically decreased the number of waterhemp seeds in the seedbank at one of two sites.
This chapter positions Thomas Hardy, and to a lesser extent his Wiltshire-born contemporary, Richard Jefferies, as case studies by which to assess broader environmental crises in the final decades of the nineteenth century. My central concern is with how the georgic sensibility, far from a passé or patrician enthusiasm in late-Victorian literature, has, in Hardy’s view, great analytical power and relevance. It allows him – especially in The Mayor of Casterbridge and The Woodlanders – to probe moral attitudes towards, and economic theories about, manual toil in an age of capitalist accumulation. In these novels Hardy interprets georgic motifs, values and sources through his portrayal of the pugnacious ‘corn king’ Henchard and the introverted yeoman Winterborne, respectively. In both texts, I contend, Hardy documents an indigenous land-worker’s increasingly fraught dispute with, and gradual supplanting by, a more ruthlessly hard-headed arriviste.
This study builds upon the existing literature on the Working curve and backwardation to explore the impact of storage regimes on the volatility measures of substitute agricultural commodity markets. We investigate the impact of commodity fundamentals (storage regime and stocks-to-use ratio), commodity-specific financial variables (options hedging pressure-long and -short), world economic activity, market-wide volatility index, seasonality, and time-to-maturity on nearby and deferred implied volatility (IV) series of selected commodity pairs of corn-soybean and winter wheat-spring wheat. Our work confirms that, in some cases, grain and oilseed IV derived from options premia respond to shocks in commodity (and substitute commodity) fundamentals which are in line with the behaviour of volatility in futures markets. Own-storage regime effects on price variability are stronger in the selected markets, while spillover effects from substitute commodity storage regimes show a modest impact on volatilities. We also find some evidence for the stocks-to-use ratio of both corn and soybean to impact both their own and each other’s IV, while options hedging pressure has some impact only on wheat IVs.
Most people who eat aren’t able to see much of our contemporary food system. This is deliberate. As world population has grown, so too has the food system become increasingly elaborate, specialized, and industrialized, all to the point that even those who live near fields or farms can likely only see a part of where our food comes from. This chapter explains a bit of how this system works, and what values it prioritizes. King and Rissing suggest that much of the food system is guided by a sort of market imperialism that values growth in yields and profit over other values that we might associate with food, values such as nutrition, variety, and environmental sustainability. It also demonstrates how neoliberal marketization does not function independently of public government but is sustained and developed by government interventions. By contrast, King and Rissing look at nonindustrial contemporary food systems to show what alternatives might look like, and to illustrate just how well they can address many of the values and aspirations we have for food systems. The alternative approach with its emphasis on food sovereignty, challenges the international frameworks of neoliberal governance that prioritizes the stimulation of market competition.
Limited information exists on the global economic impact of glyphosate-resistant (GR) weeds. The objective of this manuscript was to estimate the potential yield and economic loss from uncontrolled GR weeds in the major field crops grown in Ontario, Canada. The impact of GR weed interference on field crop yield was determined using an extensive database of field trials completed on commercial farms in southwestern Ontario between 2010 and 2021. Crop yield loss was estimated by expert opinion (weed scientists and Ontario government crop specialists) when research data were unavailable. This manuscript assumes that crop producers adjust their weed management programs to control GR weeds, which increases weed management costs but reduces crop yield loss from GR weed interference by 95%. GR volunteer corn, horseweed, waterhemp, giant ragweed, and common ragweed would cause an annual monetary loss of (in millions of Can$) $172, $104, $11, $3, and $0.3, respectively, for a total annual loss of $290 million if Ontario farmers did not adjust their weed management programs to control GR biotypes. The increased herbicide cost to control GR volunteer corn, horseweed, waterhemp, giant ragweed, and common ragweed in the major field crops in Ontario is estimated to be (in millions of Can$) $17, $9, $2, $0.1, and $0.02, respectively, for a total increase in herbicide expenditures of $28 million annually. Reduced GR weed interference with the adjusted weed management programs would reduce farm-gate monetary crop loss by 95% from $290 million to $15 million. This study estimates that GR weeds would reduce the farm-gate value of the major field crops produced in Ontario by Can$290 million annually if Ontario farmers did not adjust their weed management programs, but with increased herbicide costs of Can$28 million and reduced crop yield loss of 95% the actual annual monetary loss in Ontario is estimated to be Can$43 million annually.
Horseweed is a North American indigenous plant species commonly found in Nebraska cropping systems. Horseweed management is challenging because of horseweed’s prolific seed production, long-distance seed dispersal via wind, competitiveness, and rapid evolution of herbicide resistance. Understanding the horseweed emergence pattern across Nebraska can contribute to implementing effective and more sustainable tactics to minimize its impact on cropping systems. Field studies were conducted during fall and spring from 2016 to 2018 in Lincoln (corn and soybean), North Platte (wheat stubble and soybean), and Scottsbluff (corn and fallow) to investigate the emergence pattern of horseweed accessions from Lincoln, North Platte, and Scottsbluff, NE. Results show that most horseweed seedling emergence occurred in fall (99%) and only a few seedlings emerged in spring across locations, except in the wheat stubble experiment at North Platte, where higher spring emergence was detected (3% to 22%). In four out of six experiments, the density of total emerged seedlings of each accession was greatest when established in their site of origin. Our results suggest that late fall and/or early spring is likely the best timing for horseweed management across Nebraska.
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.
Glufosinate is among the few remaining effective herbicides for postemergence weed control in North Carolina crops. The evolution of glufosinate resistance in key weeds is currently not widespread in North Carolina, but to better assess the current status of glufosinate effectiveness, surveys were distributed at Extension meetings in 2019 and 2020. The surveys were designed to provide information about North Carolina farmers’ perception of glufosinate and its use. Survey results indicate that many North Carolina farmers (≥26%) apply glufosinate at the correct timing (5- to 10-cm weeds). In addition, North Carolina farmers (≥22%) are applying glufosinate as a complementary herbicide to other efficacious herbicides and to control herbicide-resistant weeds, suggesting that glufosinate is part of a diverse chemical weed management plan. Conversely, survey findings indicated that some farmers (13% to 17%) rely exclusively on glufosinate for weed control. Additionally, 28% to 30% of farmers reported glufosinate control failures, and control failures were observed on several weed species among corn, cotton, and soybean crops. The results of the survey suggest that most North Carolina farmers are currently stewarding glufosinate, but they also support the need for Extension personnel to keep educating farmers on how to correctly use glufosinate to delay the evolution of glufosinate-resistant weeds. Semiannual surveys should be distributed to monitor where glufosinate control failures occur and the weed species not being controlled.
The continued dispersal of Palmer amaranth can impose detrimental impacts on cropping systems in Wisconsin. Our objective was to characterize the response of a recently introduced Palmer amaranth accession in southern Wisconsin to postemergence (POST) and preemergence (PRE) herbicides commonly used in corn and soybean. Greenhouse experiments were conducted with the Wisconsin putative herbicide-resistant accession (BRO) and two additional control accessions from Nebraska, a glyphosate-resistant (KEI2) and a glyphosate-susceptible (KEI3) accession. POST treatments were 2,4-D, atrazine, dicamba, glufosinate, glyphosate, imazethapyr, lactofen, and mesotrione at 1X and 3X label rates. PRE treatments were atrazine, mesotrione, metribuzin, S-metolachlor, and sulfentrazone at 0.5X, 1X, and 3X label rates. Plant survival of each accession was ≥63% after exposure to imazethapyr POST 3X rate. Survival of BRO and KEI2 was 44% (±13) and 50% (±13), respectively, after exposure to atrazine POST 3X rate. Survival of BRO was 69% (±12) after exposure to glyphosate POST 1X rate, whereas survival of KEI2 was 44% (±13) after exposure to glyphosate POST 3X rate. After exposure to 2,4-D POST 1X rate, KEI2 and KEI3 survival was 38% (±13) and 50% (±13), respectively. Survival of all accessions was ≤31% after exposure to 2,4-D POST 3X rate or dicamba, glufosinate, lactofen, and mesotrione POST at either rate. Plant density reduction of KEI2 was 77% (±13) after exposure to atrazine PRE 1X rate, whereas density reduction of BRO was 56% (±13) after exposure to atrazine PRE 3X rate. Plant density reduction of all accessions was ≥94% after exposure to mesotrione PRE 1X and 3X rates or metribuzin, S-metolachlor, and sulfentrazone PRE at either rate. Our results suggest that each accession is resistant (≥50% survival) to imazethapyr POST, that BRO and KEI2 are resistant to atrazine and glyphosate POST, and that KEI2 and KEI3 are resistant to 2,4-D POST. The recently introduced BRO accession exhibited multiple resistance to imazethapyr, atrazine, and glyphosate POST. In addition, atrazine PRE was ineffective for BRO control, suggesting that diversified resistance management strategies will be critical for its effective management.
Palmer amaranth has developed resistance to at least seven herbicide sites of action in the Cotton Belt of the United States, leaving producers with fewer options to manage this weed. Previous research with corn and newly commercially released soybean systems have found the use of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD)-inhibiting herbicides such as isoxaflutole (IFT) to be effective at managing Palmer amaranth. Consequently, a new transgenic cultivar of cotton is being developed with tolerance to IFT, allowing for in-crop applications of the herbicide. Two separate studies were conducted near Marianna, AR, in 2019 and replicated in 2020, to investigate the crop safety and utility of IFT when added to cotton herbicide programs. Herbicide programs featured IFT as a preemergence or early-postemergence option, residual herbicides in subsequent postemergence applications, and the presence or absence of a layby application. The use of IFT did not significantly impact cotton injury or yield, whereas the use of layered residual herbicides, including IFT, increased Palmer amaranth control compared to those without. Regardless of earlier use of IFT, layby applications were needed for season-long control of Palmer amaranth, entireleaf morningglory, broadleaf signalgrass, and johnsongrass, as evidenced by greater than a 20 percentage point improvement in control of all weeds when a layby application was made. Overall, findings from these studies indicate IFT to be a suitable tool for managing Palmer amaranth and will provide an additional site of action for cotton herbicide programs. Sequential herbicide applications and overlaying residuals were found to be paramount for managing Palmer amaranth throughout the season.
Tolpyralate is commonly mixed with atrazine for improved control of common annual weed species in corn production systems in the United States and Canada. Weed control efficacy with this mixture is enhanced with the addition of methylated seed oil (MSO) Concentrate®; however, there is little information on the efficacy of tolpyralate + atrazine with other proprietary adjuvants. Therefore, four trials were conducted at field research sites in Ontario, Canada, to evaluate the efficacy of tolpyralate + atrazine when applied with six different commercially available adjuvants on four annual broadleaf and two annual grass weed species in corn. The adjuvants evaluated were MSO Concentrate®, Agral® 90, Assist® Oil Concentrate, Carrier®, LI 700®, and Merge®. A treatment of tolpyralate + atrazine applied with no adjuvant was also included in the study. For the control of velvetleaf and wild mustard, the adjuvants evaluated with tolpyralate + atrazine did not improve control. At 8 wk after application (WAA), the use of Agral® 90, Assist® Oil Concentrate, Carrier®, MSO Concentrate®, or Merge® with tolpyralate + atrazine provided similar or greater control of common ragweed than tolpyralate + atrazine applied with LI 700®. At 8 WAA, the adjuvants performed similarly with tolpyralate + atrazine for the control of common lambsquarters; however, LI 700® was the only adjuvant that did not improve control compared to tolpyralate + atrazine applied without an adjuvant. At 8 WAA, MSO Concentrate®, Carrier®, and Merge® improved control of barnyardgrass and foxtail species with tolpyralate + atrazine to a similar or greater level than Assist® Oil Concentrate, Agral® 90, and LI 700®. Overall, MSO Concentrate®, Carrier®, or Merge® should be added to tolpyralate + atrazine for control of the myriad of weed species interfering with corn production.
Tolpyralate is a 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase–inhibiting herbicide that is applied postemergence for control of annual broadleaf and grass weeds in corn. Current Canadian label recommendations for tolpyralate specify the addition of a methylated seed oil (MSO) adjuvant (MSO Concentrate®) for improved weed control. The efficacy of tolpyralate applied with other proprietary adjuvants has not been widely reported in the peer-reviewed literature. Therefore, four field trials were conducted in corn over 2020 and 2021 in Ontario, Canada, to evaluate MSO Concentrate®, Agral® 90 (nonionic surfactant), Assist® Oil Concentrate (blended surfactant), Carrier® (blended surfactant), LI 700® (nonionic surfactant), and Merge® (blended surfactant) as adjuvants with tolpyralate for the control of annual broadleaf and grass weeds. At 8 wk after application (WAA), tolpyralate applied with MSO Concentrate®, Agral® 90, Assist® Oil Concentrate, Carrier®, or Merge® controlled velvetleaf, wild mustard, barnyardgrass, and foxtail species similarly. These adjuvants also enhanced the efficacy of tolpyralate similarly for the control of common ragweed at 8 WAA with the exception that Agral® 90 was inferior to Merge®. At 8 WAA, tolpyralate controlled common lambsquarters the greatest when applied with MSO Concentrate®, Agral® 90, Carrier®, or Merge®; these adjuvants with the exception of Agral® 90 were superior to Assist® Oil Concentrate. At 8 WAA, tolpyralate applied with LI 700® controlled common ragweed, barnyardgrass, and foxtail species less than when tolpyralate was applied with the other adjuvants tested; control of these weed species with tolpyralate was not improved with LI 700® when compared to tolpyralate applied without an adjuvant. Overall, tolpyralate applied with either MSO Concentrate®, Carrier®, or Merge® controlled all annual broadleaf and grass weed species similarly or greater than tolpyralate applied without an adjuvant or tolpyralate with Agral® 90, Assist® Oil Concentrate, or LI 700® at 8 WAA.
Five johnsongrass populations collected from corn grown in northern Greece were studied to elucidate the levels and mechanisms of resistance to acetolactate synthase (ALS)- and acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACCase)-inhibiting herbicides. Whole-plant response assays indicated that two populations were highly cross-resistant to all ALS inhibitors tested (foramsulfuron, nicosulfuron, rimsulfuron, and imazamox) but were effectively controlled by the recommended rate of the ACCase-inhibiting herbicides propaquizafop and clethodim. The ALS gene sequence revealed a point mutation that resulted in the substitution of Trp574 by Leu in the ALS enzyme, suggesting that the resistance mechanism is target-site mediated. These findings highlight a serious threat against the sustainable use of the ALS-inhibiting herbicides in controlling johnsongrass and other grass weeds in cornfields, suggesting rotational use of herbicides with different modes of action, along with the use of nonchemical methods, for viable Johnsongrass management.
The growing prevalence of clean energy raises the question of possible associated externalities. This article studies the effects of nuclear power plant development (and, as a result, the increased amount of water in the atmosphere from evaporative cooling systems) on nearby crop yields and finds that an average nuclear power plant increases local soybean yields by 2 and corn yields by 1 percent. Considering the low elasticity of demand for these crops, the yield increases translate to annual net benefits of $229 million (2020 US dollars) – $317 million in losses to farmers and $546 million in benefits to consumers.
Herbicides with soil-residual activity have the potential for carryover into subsequent crops, resulting in injury to sensitive crops and limiting productivity if severe. The increased use of soil-residual herbicides in the United States for management of troublesome weeds in corn- and soybean-cropping systems has potential to result in more cases of carryover. Soil management practices have different effects on the soil environment, potentially influencing herbicide degradation and likelihood of carryover. Field experiments were conducted at three sites in 2019 and 2020 to determine the effects of corn (clopyralid and mesotrione) and soybean (fomesafen and imazethapyr) herbicides applied in the fall at reduced rates (25% and 50% of labeled rates) and three soil management practices (tillage, no-tillage, and a fall-established cereal rye cover crop) on subsequent growth and productivity of the cereal rye cover crop and the soybean and corn crops, respectively. Most response variables (cereal rye biomass and crop canopy cover at cover crop termination in the spring, early-season crop stand and herbicide injury ratings, and crop yield) were not affected by herbicide carryover. Corn yield was lower when soil was managed with a cereal rye cover crop compared with tillage at all three sites, while yield was lower for no-till compared with tillage at two sites. Soybean yield was lower when managed with a cereal rye cover crop compared with tillage and no-till at one site. Findings from this research indicate a low carryover risk for these herbicides across site-years when label rotational restrictions are followed and environmental conditions favorable for herbicide degradation exist, regardless of soil management practice on silt loam or silty clay loam soil types in the U.S. Midwest region.
Commercialization of 2,4-D-resistant soybean varieties allows for postemergence (POST) applications of 2,4-D in soybean. With the increase in POST applications of 2,4-D in soybean, shifts in weed populations may occur. A long-term field trial was conducted over 7 yr in a corn-soybean rotation. Weed populations were subjected to four herbicide strategies with variable levels of 2,4-D reliance. The strategies used included 1) diversified glyphosate strategy with six herbicide sites of action (SOAs); 2) 2,4-D reliant strategy with three SOAs; 3) diversified 2,4-D reliant strategy with seven SOAs; and 4) fully diversified strategy with eight SOAs. Soil residual herbicides were used for both corn and soybean years, except for the 2,4-D-reliant strategy, which used only a residual herbicide during the corn years. A 52% or greater reduction in weed densities for all herbicide strategies, except the 2,4-D-reliant strategy, was observed by the end of the study. However, the density of weeds tolerant to 2,4-D, such as monocots, increased after 3 yr of selection pressure, and more than doubled after 5 yr of selection pressure in the 2,4-D-reliant strategy. Additionally, in the 2,4-D-reliant strategy with three SOAs, species richness was 30% higher in the soil seedbank compared to herbicides strategies with six or more SOAs. In order to delay weed shifts, diversified herbicide strategies with more than three SOAs that include residual herbicides should be used in corn:soybean rotational systems that use 2,4-D-resistant soybean.
The establishment of plants in an ecosystem is limited by the availability of seeds and the availability of suitable sites for establishment. Describing plant population dynamics through the relative strength of seed and establishment limitation is an important concept in the study of natural ecosystems. To date, it is unclear whether this concept can be applied to describe populations of annual weeds in agricultural fields. Using a recruitment function, we show that limitation parameters prove valuable in describing seedling recruitment in weed populations. We conducted a seed addition experiment in three cornfields (Zea mays L.) and recorded seedling recruitment in populations of the economically important weed barnyardgrass [Echinochloa crus-galli (L.) P. Beauv.]. Seed predation, competition with other weeds, and seed burial were prevented. We estimated the strength of seed and establishment limitation in the population with two parameters: n, which is the number of microsites, and b, which is the suitability of those sites to support a seedling. We further estimated the relative proportions of density-dependent and density-independent establishment limitation in the seedling population. Recruitment rates of E. crus-galli ranged from 31% to 36% across all evaluated seed densities and fields, which is high compared with results from other seed addition studies. Two of the three monitored populations were predominantly establishment limited at the highest evaluated seed density of 2,400 added seeds m−2. Further knowledge about the relative strength of limitations in other weed populations will provide important information on how effective different weed management strategies can be.