The ability to accurately estimate herbicide efficacy is critical for any decision-support system used in weed management. Recent efforts by weed scientists in the North Central United States to adopt WeedSOFT across a broad region have resulted in a number of regional research projects designed to assess and improve the predictive capability of WeedSOFT. Field studies were conducted from 2000 to 2002 in Nebraska, Missouri, and Illinois to evaluate herbicide-efficacy predictions made by WeedSOFT in two corn-row spacings. Following crop and weed emergence, input variables, such as weed densities and heights, were entered into WeedSOFT to generate a list of treatments ranked by predicted crop yields. The five treatments evaluated included those predicting highest crop-yield potential (recommended control treatment 1), a 10% yield reduction, a 20% yield reduction, a 10% yield reduction plus cultivation, and cultivation alone. These treatments were applied to corn grown in 38- and 76-cm rows. Generally, treatments applied in 38-cm rows had more accurate herbicide-efficacy predictions compared with 76-cm rows. WeedSOFT provided better control predictions for broadleaf than grass species. WeedSOFT provided excellent herbicide-efficacy predictions for the highest crop-yield potential, which indicates a good potential for practical use of this software for herbicide recommendations.
Nomenclature: Pennsylvania smartweed, Polygonum pensylvanicum L. POLPY, Corn, Zea mays L