1 March 2009 Weed–Corn Competition Parameters in Late-Winter Sowing in Northern Italy
Stefan Otto, Roberta Masin, Giorgio Casari, Giuseppe Zanin
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In recent years, interest has increased in late-winter sowing of corn in northern Italy because of many agronomic advantages. However, cold and rainy weather slows initial crop growth, which can favor weed infestation. There is, therefore, a need for appropriate timing of weed control tactics based on an understanding of the competitive relationship and dynamics between crop and weeds. Five experiments were conducted over 4 yr, with a series of treatments increasing either duration of interference or length of weed-free period. Yield data were fitted with sigmoidal equations to find the critical point (CP) and critical period of weed control (CPWC). Although the CP is determined only by the competition between weed and crop, the CPWC is also market dependent. To quantify the effect of weed flora on the CP, a multiple regression model was tested, taking into account weed density, inflection point, and slope parameter of the Gompertz model of the cumulated infestation. The results confirmed that the late-winter sowing date increases the importance of late winter– and early spring–emerging weeds. In general, the precompetitive period was longer in the late winter–sown corn than in traditional midspring-sown corn. The delayed start of the CPWC makes control more difficult with a preemergence herbicide, which raises questions on the utility of this agronomic technique. Multiple regression analysis showed that the position of CP can be estimated with the density, earliness, and competitiveness of the infestation. Furthermore, the slope/inflection point ratio of the Gompertz model appears to be independent of sowing date. Results suggest that the weed–crop competition mechanism can be represented with simply the weed flora dynamic parameters and that a combination of crop–weed competition studies and emergence prediction models can predict the position of CP and give useful information about the CPWC and weed management.

Nomenclature: Corn, Zea mays L. cv. ‘PR33 J24’

Stefan Otto, Roberta Masin, Giorgio Casari, and Giuseppe Zanin "Weed–Corn Competition Parameters in Late-Winter Sowing in Northern Italy," Weed Science 57(2), 194-201, (1 March 2009). https://doi.org/10.1614/WS-08-133.1
Received: 14 August 2008; Accepted: 1 November 2008; Published: 1 March 2009
Novel sowing technique
weed emergence dynamics
weed–crop competition
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