According to the University of Arkansas, weeds will rob corn yield regardless of how thick the infestation. Losses can range from 10-15% for light weed infestations to 50% for heavy infestations. For example, in a field that would normally produce a 180 bu/A yield, weed infestation could reduce yield by 18-90 bu/A. Weed management in corn across the Mid-South is critical.
Researchers regard the first 6 weeks after planting as the most important for weed control. During this time, they speculate that corn plants may be able to detect the presence of weeds and alter their growth patterns to compensate. The next 3 weeks is another crucial time as this is when ear size is determined. In addition, controlling weeds early enables a corn plant to better compete with later emerging weeds.
The photos below from 2016 Syngenta trials at the Agri-Center in Memphis, TN, demonstrate the season-long control of treatments including Acuron and Halex GT. These bare-ground plots planted with weeds show a dramatic difference in weed control. Pre-emergence herbicides were applied on April 23 with post-emergence herbicides applied on May 28. Photos were taken June 10.
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