California arrowhead is a broadleaf weed widespread in water-seeded rice. Bensulfuron is the only herbicide currently available for use throughout the California rice growing region that provides complete control of California arrowhead; however, resistance to bensulfuron has been detected in California arrowhead and in several other weed species. Growers have herbicide alternatives for weed species other than California arrowhead but continue to use bensulfuron year after year for control because they believe California arrowhead reduces rice yields. However, damage thresholds have not been determined for this weed, and the crop may be able to tolerate relatively high California arrowhead densities. In this work, the damage thresholds for California arrowhead were determined in field and greenhouse experiments. Water-seeded rice was grown in mixture with California arrowhead in a 1992 greenhouse experiment and in field experiments in 1992 and 1998. Rice tiller density and grain yields were not affected by California arrowhead densities up to 200 plants m−2 in any year. Rice was taller than California arrowhead throughout the growing season in all experiments, and the weed senesced well before rice maturity. The ability of the crop to overtop the weed and grow weed-free during the latter part of the season may explain why California arrowhead is such a weak competitor with water-seeded rice. The results suggest that growers may be able to tolerate California arrowhead densities up to 200 plants m−2 without detectable yield losses. Implications for weed management are discussed.
Nomenclature:Bensulfuron, California arrowhead, Sagittaria montevidensis Cham. and Schlect SAGMO; rice, Oryza sativa L.