Field studies were conducted in 2002 and 2003 to determine whether canopy formation influences pitted morningglory, common cocklebur, and sicklepod emergence in surface-tilled soybean. Each weed species was broadcast seeded before planting soybean in 19- and 97-cm-wide rows. Weed emergence beneath soybean was monitored after soybean emergence and compared with weed emergence in the absence of soybean (bareground treatment). Magnitude of daily diurnal soil temperature fluctuations diminished after soybean canopy formation, and light interception by soybean was positively related to the reduction in soil temperature. Canopy formation (50% light interception) occurred 16 to 17 d later in wide compared with narrow rows in both years. The red/far-red ratio of light available to seed on or near the soil surface was reduced from as much as 1.2 in full sunlight to less than 0.1 in the presence of a dense soybean canopy. Pitted morningglory emergence was not influenced by soybean canopy formation, whereas common cocklebur and sicklepod emergence were reduced as much as 33 and 68%, respectively. Although common cocklebur and sicklepod emergence diminished after soybean canopy formation, a small portion of the seedbank of both species emerged beneath the canopy. This research indicates that in a tilled system, emergence of some weed species is diminished by presence of an overlying canopy, but emergence does not completely cease with canopy formation. Late-season emergence of sicklepod and common cocklebur beneath a soybean canopy may contribute to replenishment of the soil seedbank, especially if these late-emerging cohorts are capable of surviving until the light environment is favorable for seed production.
Nomenclature: Common cocklebur, Xanthium strumarium L. XANST; pitted morningglory, Ipomoea lacunosa L. IPOLA; sicklepod, Senna obtusifolia (L.) Irwin and Barneby CASOB; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr. ‘Northrup King S73-Z5’, ‘Delta and Pineland 6880’.