Knowing the interference potential of common waterhemp in corn could be beneficial in planning waterhemp management strategies. In 2000, 2001, and 2002, field studies were conducted to examine both early- and late-season common waterhemp interference in corn. Early-season interference was determined by removing common waterhemp at the VE (vegetative emergence), V4 (four visible leaf collars), V6, V8, V10, V12, and V14 growth stages of corn for the entire season, and late-season interference was determined by allowing common waterhemp to emerge and compete from the VE, V4, V6, V8, V10, V12, and V14 corn growth stages. The interference potential of common waterhemp varied between the year 2000 and the combined years of 2001–2002. This is probably due to differences in precipitation in May and June in these two environments (297 mm in 2000 compared with 198 mm in 2001–2002). An excess of 590 g m−2 of dry matter and 13,000 and 1,200 seeds per female plant were produced when common waterhemp emerged at V4 and V6 corn, respectively, the 2 yr that corn was drought stressed. When corn was not moisture stressed, common waterhemp that emerged at V4 and V6 corn produced less than 220 g m−2 and less than 500 seeds per female plant. Season-long common waterhemp interference reduced corn yield 74% in 2 yr of the study and 11% in the third. Early-season common waterhemp interference began at V6 corn, with a 4 and 23% yield loss in 2000 and 2001–2002, respectively. Common waterhemp interference from late-season emergence reduced corn yield when emergence occurred before the V8 corn growth stage. Taking into account early- and late-season common waterhemp interference. the critical common waterhemp–free period was around the V6 corn stage to optimize corn yield.
Nomenclature: Common waterhemp, Amaranthus rudis Sauer AMATA; corn, Zea mays L.