Benghal dayflower (formerly known as tropical spiderwort) is one of the most troublesome weeds in Georgia cotton. Field studies were conducted from 2003 to 2005 to evaluate the relationship between the duration of Benghal dayflower interference and cotton yield to establish optimum weed-control timing. To determine the critical period of weed control (CPWC), Benghal dayflower interference with cotton was allowed or prohibited in 2-wk intervals between 0 to 12 wk after crop planting. Maximum yield loss from Benghal dayflower in May-planted cotton was 21 to 30% in 2004 and 2005, whereas cotton planting delayed until June resulted in maximum yield losses of 40 to 60%. June-planted cotton had a CPWC of 190 to 800 growing degree days (GDD) in 2004 (52-d interval beginning at 16 d after planting [DAP]) and 190 to 910 GDD in 2005 (59-d interval beginning at 18 DAP). In contrast, May-planted cotton in 2005 had a narrower CPWC interval of 396 to 587 GDD (18 d) that occurred 3 wk later in the growing season (initiated at 39 DAP). May-planted cotton in 2004 did not have a critical range of weed-free conditions. Instead, a single weed removal at 490 GDD (44 DAP) averted a yield loss greater than 5%. It is recommended that fields infested with Benghal dayflower be planted with cotton early in the growing season to minimize weed interference with the crop.
Nomenclature: Benghal dayflower (tropical spiderwort), Commelina benghalensis L. COMBE; cotton, Gossypium hirsutum L