Synthetic-auxin herbicides are often applied for horseweed control before soybean planting. However, certain days of planting interval must be maintained before soybean planting, depending on the product and rate used, because of potential crop phytotoxicity. Halauxifen-methyl is a new synthetic-auxin herbicide for horseweed control in preplant applications in soybean. Field experiments were conducted in 2015 and 2016 in Indiana to evaluate soybean phytotoxicity in response to applications of halauxifen-methyl (5 g ae ha–1) at five preplant intervals (0, 1, 2, 3, and 4 weeks before planting [WBP]). In 2015, soybean phytotoxicity was not observed for any of the preplant intervals at any of the sites. In 2016, 0% to 15% phytotoxicity was observed at 14 d after planting (DAP) when halauxifen-methyl was applied at planting, 1 WBP, and 2 WBP at different sites. Soybean phytotoxicity was expressed in the unifoliate leaves only at 14 DAP. However, the first trifoliate did not show any injury symptoms at 21 DAP from any preplant application timing. Preplant application intervals for halauxifen-methyl did not affect soybean stand counts or grain yield in any site-year. Therefore, field results indicated that halauxifen-methyl applied alone can cause slight soybean phytotoxicity in preplant applications. In growth-chamber bioassays, reductions in soybean biomass, plant length, and emergence were accentuated at 30 C, compared with 20 or 15 C, when halauxifen-methyl was applied at 20 or 40 g ae ha–1. These results contradict the currently held paradigm in which lower temperatures generally increase crop phytotoxicity levels to herbicide soil residual.
Nomenclature: 2,4-D; dicamba; halauxifen-methyl; horseweed, Erigeron canadensis L. ERICA; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.