Injury to weeds from sublethal doses of POST herbicides may reduce the effect of weed interference on crop yield. Information on how herbicide dose influences weed mortality, growth, and seed production is needed to assess the potential benefit of applying reduced herbicide doses. Field experiments were conducted at Mead, NE, in 2001 and 2002 to quantify velvetleaf mortality, growth, and corn–velvetleaf interference in response to varying doses of three POST herbicides. Untreated velvetleaf at six densities (0, 1, 3, 6, 12, and 20 plants m−1 corn row) was grown in mixture with corn to establish a baseline corn–velvetleaf interference relationship. Treated velvetleaf at a density of 20 plants m−1 row received one of five doses of dicamba, halosulfuron, or flumiclorac. Untreated velvetleaf height, biomass, and seed capsule production were greater in 2002 than 2001 and declined with increasing velvetleaf density in both years. Corn yield was not affected by untreated velvetleaf in 2001, but yield loss increased with increasing velvetleaf density in 2002. Mortality of herbicide-treated velvetleaf was 56% greater in 2001 than 2002 and increased with increasing herbicide dose. Maximum height of treated velvetleaf was similar for all treatments in 2001 but declined with increasing herbicide dose in 2002. Biomass and seed production of treated velvetleaf varied among herbicides in 2002 and decreased with increasing dose. Corn yield was not influenced by velvetleaf in 2001, but yield loss in response to herbicide-treated velvetleaf declined with increasing herbicide dose in 2002. Results show that the assumption that weeds surviving herbicide application are as competitive as untreated weeds is incorrect. Reduction in growth and resource consumption by herbicide-damaged weeds reduced the negative effects of weeds on corn.
Nomenclature: Dicamba; halosulfuron; flumiclorac; velvetleaf; Abutilon theophrasti Medic. ABUTH; corn; Zea mays L.