Johnsongrass control in fallowed sugarcane fields was evaluated with glyphosate and the graminicides quizalofop, fluazifop, and clethodim applied in soybean compared with nonsoybean tillage and glyphosate programs. Glyphosate was applied to glyphosate-resistant soybean as a single early postemergence (EPOST) treatment around 30 d after planting (DAP) at rates of 840, 1,120, or 2,240 g ai/ha; as sequential treatments EPOST and late postemergence (LPOST) around 60 DAP at 560 followed by (fb) 560 or 1,120 fb 1,120 g/ha; or as a single LPOST treatment at 2,240 g/ha. Quizalofop at 77 g ai/ha, fluazifop at 420 g ai/ha, and clethodim at 280 g ai/ha were also evaluated as single EPOST treatments. In 1996 johnsongrass control 7 d after EPOST treatment (DAT) was at least 90% for glyphosate treatments but control was 73 to 77% for the graminicides. In 1997 johnsongrass control 7 DAT was at least 82% for all herbicide treatments. Excellent johnsongrass control approximately 50 DAT was achieved both years with all the glyphosate and graminicide treatments. In the nonsoybean fallow weed control programs where plots were tilled twice or three times fb one or two glyphosate applications, complete control of johnsongrass was obtained both years. In 1996 when glyphosate was applied EPOST or EPOST fb LPOST, soybean yields were equivalent and averaged 3.3 times that of the single LPOST glyphosate application. Soybean yields where the graminicides were used and where glyphosate was applied as a single LPOST treatment were no greater than the nontreated control. Economic analysis on the basis of soybean yield data and variable costs of herbicides, seed, field application, seedbed preparation, tillage, labor, fuel, repairs, and custom harvest expense in 1996 showed a positive net return only for glyphosate applied EPOST at 840 g/ha ($99.82/ha) or 1,120 g/ha ($46.94/ha) and for glyphosate applied at 560 g/ha EPOST fb LPOST ($10.41/ha). Although showing a negative net return, glyphosate applied EPOST at 2,240 g/ha ($−8.32/ha) or EPOST fb LPOST at 1,120 g/ha ($−50.97/ha), the loss was less than that for nonsoybean fallow tillage and glyphosate programs ($−155.70/ha and $−157.78/ha). In 1997, when soybean was not harvested because of environmental conditions, variable costs exceeded those of the nonsoybean programs, indicating that planting soybean strictly as a cover crop would not be economically advantageous. Sugarcane growth and yield the year following the fallow programs was not negatively affected by production of soybean regardless of herbicide program.
Nomenclature: Clethodim, fluazifop, glyphosate, quizalofop, soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr. ‘Hartz 4102 RR’, sugarcane, Saccharum interspecific hybrids ‘CP 70-321’.
Additional index words: Graminicides, net return, perennial weed control, tillage, variable costs, weed control programs.