Spring tillage is a component of an integrated weed management strategy for control of early emerging glyphosate-resistant weeds such as common ragweed; however, the effect of tillage on common ragweed emergence pattern is unknown. The objectives of this study were to evaluate whether spring tillage during emergence would influence the emergence pattern or stimulate additional emergence of common ragweed and to characterize common ragweed emergence in southeast Nebraska. A field experiment was conducted for three years (2014 to 2016) in Gage County, Nebraska in a field naturally infested with glyphosate-resistant common ragweed. Treatments consisted of a no-tillage control and three spring tillage timings. The Soil Temperature and Moisture Model (STM2) software was used to estimate soil temperature and moisture at a 2-cm depth. The Weibull function was fit to total common ragweed emergence (%) with day of year (DOY), thermal time, and hydrothermal time as independent variables. Tillage treatments and year had no effect on total common ragweed emergence (P = 0.88 and 0.35, respectively) and time to 10, 25, 50, 75, and 90% emergence (P = 0.31). However, emergence pattern was affected by year (P = <0.001) with 50% total emergence reached on May 5 in 2014, April 20 in 2015, and April 2 in 2016 and 90% total emergence reached on May 12, 2014, May 8, 2015, and April 30, 2016. According to the corrected information-theoretic model comparison criterion (AICc), the Weibull function with thermal time and base temperature of 3 C best explained the emergence pattern over three years. This study concludes that spring tillage does not stimulate additional emergence; therefore, after the majority of the common ragweed has emerged and before the crop has been planted, tillage could be used as an effective component of an integrated glyphosate-resistant common ragweed management program in Nebraska.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; common ragweed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.