Submitted to: Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 30, 2010
Publication Date: February 7, 2011
Citation: Williams, M.M. II, Boydston, R.A., Peachy, R.E., Robinson, D.E. 2011. Using less atrazine in sweet corn: challenges to overcome [abstract]. Weed Science Society of America. Paper No. 195. Technical Abstract: In the near future, growers may see further restrictions on their most widely used weed control tactic - atrazine. Studies were conducted throughout the major processing sweet corn growing areas in North America to determine the impact of using less atrazine postemergence on sweet corn production. In a total of eight environments, results showed atrazine's contribution to weed control and yield protection were greatest when other aspects of weed management resulted in poor (<50%) weed control. Sweet corn production did not benefit from atrazine in every environment, but most. Addition of atrazine postemergence with an HPPD-inhibiting herbicide not only improved mean control of individual weed species and species groups, but also reduced variation in weed control and crop yield responses. Also, deleterious responses from reduced atrazine use were less severe in a vigorous growing hybrid, compared to a weakly growing hybrid. Currently, most sweet corn fields suffer yield loss due to weed intereference. Atrazine is inexpensive, enhances performance of most other available herbicides, and is used widely. Simple, economically viable alternatives to atrazine do not exist. Further reductions in atrazine use, or a complete ban, are conceivable. Our research shows further restriction of atrazine use likely will necessitate migration towards more complex weed management systems utilizing a variety of control tactics.