Control of noxious weeds such as cogongrass depend heavily on chemical treatment, but success is limited unless integrated with other practices. Utilization of cover crops in the system is ideal to avoid the use of excess herbicide and replace vegetation that will resist cogongrass reinvasion. Greenhouse studies were conducted from 2013 through 2015 at Mississippi State University with the objective to evaluate ‘AG4934’ RR/STS soybean, Korean lespedeza, crimson clover and ‘Durana’ white clover tolerance to soil-applied imazapyr at selected rates and various planting times after application. Plastic containers filled with a mixture of 2:1 sand:topsoil were treated with imazapyr at 0, 70, 140 and 280 g ae ha-1. Legume species were planted 0, 1, 3 and 6 months after treatment (MAT). The factorial experimental design included legume species, imazapyr rate and planting time. At 6 weeks after each planting, the number of seedlings, average plant height and shoot biomass were measured. Statistical analysis revealed the imazapyr rate x planting time interaction was significant with respect to number of emerged seedlings, average height and shoot biomass per plant for each species. It was observed that the legumes planted at 0 MAT of imazapyr at 70 g ae ha-1 or higher reduced emerged seedlings, average height and biomass production. In general, seeds planted 1 MAT or later in combination with these same herbicide rates, showed less growth reductions than treatments seeded 0 MAT. In conclusion, sites treated with imazapyr rates from 70 to 280 g ae ha-1 for weed control, should not be seeded with legume ground covers less than 1 month after treatment to reduce emergence failure, plant height and biomass production.
Nomenclature: Imazapyr; cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv.; crimson clover, Trifolium incarnatum L.; Korean lespedeza, Kummerowia stipulacea (Maxim.) Makino; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.; white clover, Trifolium repens L.