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.
Nomenclature: Atrazine; dicamba; glyphosate; mesotrione; paraquat; saflufenacil; 2,4-D; rapeseed, Brassica napus L.; corn, Zea mays L.; soybean, Glycine max L. Merr.