Spring wheat competitive ability has recently been demonstrated to co-vary with seed size. The objective of this study was to determine if spring wheat seed size would influence the effects of variable tralkoxydim rates on wild oat control, wheat yield, and economic returns. The factorial treatment arrangement consisted of three spring wheat seed size classes and five tralkoxydim rates. Wild oat density, panicles, and biomass decreased as spring wheat seed size and tralkoxydim rate increased, with the combined effect being additive. Wild oat variables decreased in a log-logistic manner as tralkoxydim rate increased during both years. However, tralkoxydim was less effective in 2000 than 2002, as indicated by the higher dosage required to reduce the wild oat variables by 50% (greater I50 values). In contrast, the effect of large seeded wheat in suppressing wild oat was more consistently expressed, with wild oat variables decreasing linearly as seed size increased. Wheat yield and economic returns increased exponentially as tralkoxydim rate increased. At the same time, wheat yield and economic returns were greater for wheat plants derived from large seed compared to those derived from small seed. Averaged over all other factors, adjusted gross returns of 578, 657, and 703 $/ha were realized for the small, medium, and large seed size classes, respectively. The combined use of large seeded wheat plus tralkoxydim applications provided greater wild oat control than did either single tactic. The use of large seeded wheat had a stabilizing effect that increased the consistency and durability of the weed management system while simultaneously improving economic returns.
Nomenclature: Tralkoxydim; wild oat, Avena fatua L. #3 AVEFA; wheat, Triticum aestivum L. ‘McNeal’.
Additional index words: Seed size, dose response, integrated weed management.
Abbreviations: AGR, adjusted gross return; TKW, thousand kernel weights.