Understanding the effects of crop management practices on weed survival and seed production is imperative in improving long-term weed management strategies, especially for herbicide-resistant weed populations. Kochia [Bassia scoparia (L.) A.J. Scott] is an economically important weed in western North American cropping systems for many reasons, including prolific seed production and evolved resistance to numerous herbicide sites of action. Field studies were conducted in 2014 in a total of four field sites in Wyoming, Montana, and Nebraska to quantify the impact of different crop canopies and herbicide applications on B. scoparia density and seed production. Crops used in this study were spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), dry bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.), sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), and corn (Zea mays L.). Herbicide treatments included either acetolactate synthase (ALS) inhibitors effective on non-resistant B. scoparia or a non–ALS inhibiting herbicide effective for both ALS-resistant and ALS-susceptible B. scoparia. Bassia scoparia density midseason was affected more by herbicide choice than by crop canopy, whereas B. scoparia seed production per plant was affected more by crop canopy compared with herbicide treatment. Our results suggest that crop canopy and herbicide treatments were both influential on B. scoparia seed production per unit area, which is likely a key indicator of long-term management success for this annual weed species. The lowest germinable seed production per unit area was observed in spring wheat treated with non–ALS inhibiting herbicides, and the greatest germinable seed production was observed in sugar beet treated with ALS-inhibiting herbicides. The combined effects of crop canopy and herbicide treatment can minimize B. scoparia establishment and seed production.
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Vol. 68 • No. 3