Producers in the Great Plains are exploring alternative crop rotations with the goal of reducing the use of fallow. In 1990, a study was established with no-till practices to compare eight rotations comprising various combinations of winter wheat (W), spring wheat (SW), corn (C), chickpea (CP), dry pea (Pea), soybean (SB), or fallow (F). After 12 yr, we characterized weed communities by recording seedling emergence in each rotation. Downy brome, cheat, redroot pigweed, and green foxtail were the most common weeds observed. Weed community density was highest for W–CP, being 13-fold greater than with Pea–W–C–SB. Downy brome and cheat were rarely observed in rotations where winter wheat was grown only once every 3 or 4 yr; in contrast, density of the brome species was 75-fold greater in W–CP. Warm-season weeds were also affected by rotation design; density of redroot pigweed and green foxtail was sixfold greater in W–C–CP compared with Pea–W–C–SB or W–F. One rotation design that was especially favorable for low weed density was arranging crops in a cycle of four, with two cool-season crops followed by two warm-season crops.
Nomenclature: Cheat, Bromus secalinus L. BROSE, downy brome, Bromus tectorum L. BROTE, green foxtail, Setaria viridis L. SETVI, redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L. AMARE, chickpea, Cicer arietinum L, corn, Zea mays L, dry peas, Pisum sativum L, soybean, Glycine max Merrill, wheat, Triticum aestivum L