Field experiments were conducted near Chickasha, OK, in 1999 and 2000 and near Perkins, OK, in 2000 to evaluate the effects of Palmer amaranth on harvest efficiency of grain sorghum and full-season competition with that crop. Weed densities were 0 (the weed-free check), 1, 2, 4, 6, 9, 12, and 18 plants/15 m of row. In the harvest efficiency experiments, each additional weed per 15 m of row increased grain moisture before cleaning by 0.7 and 0.2% at Chickasha in 1999 and at Perkins, respectively. After cleaning, it increased moisture by 0.2% in both the experiments for each weed. Foreign material increased 67, 2, and 3 kg/ha at Chickasha in 1999, Chickasha in 2000, and Perkins, respectively. At Chickasha in 2000, sorghum seed loss through the combine increased 11 kg/ha for each additional weed per 15 m of row. Grain grades improved at Perkins at higher weed densities. In the competition experiments, grain yield decreased by 1.8 to 3.5% for each increase of 1 weed/15 m of row. More weeds resulted in higher weed dry weight. Each kilogram of Palmer amaranth dry weight per plot reduced grain yield by 5.3 to 9.1%. In 2000, sorghum seeds per panicle were reduced by 27 to 50 for each weed. Grain grades generally decreased as weed density increased at Chickasha in 2000 but not at Perkins.
Nomenclature: Palmer amaranth, Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats. #3 AMAPA; grain sorghum, Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench ‘Cherokee’.
Additional index words: Competition effects, foreign material, grain grade, grain moisture, grain yield, harvest efficiency, seed loss during harvest, test weight.