Field studies conducted over 2 yr in Louisiana determined critical periods of Rottboellia cochinchinensis interference in Zea mays. In a duration of interference study, R. cochinchinensis was allowed to compete with Z. mays for 0 (weed-free, season-long), 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 (weedy, season-long) wk, after which plots were maintained weed-free for the rest of the growing season. Rottboellia cochinchinensis biomass at time of initial removal increased linearly as weeks of interference increased. For 2 wk of interference, R. cochinchinensis biomass was greater in 1993 than 1994, but for 4 wk or more of interference, biomass was greater the second year indicating environmental conditions were more conducive to R. cochinchinensis growth in 1994. Season-long R. cochinchinensis interference reduced Z. mays height by 18% compared with the weed-free check. For both years, R. cochinchinensis reduced yields 125 kg ha−1 for each week of interference. In weed-free maintenance studies, 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, or 14 (weed-free, season-long) wk of weed-free conditions were provided, after which R. cochinchinensis was allowed to repopulate. Zea mays yield was equivalent for the weed-free control and plots maintained free of R. cochinchinensis for 2 wk or more. In the interference studies, season-long R. cochinchinensis interference reduced Z. mays yield at least 33% compared with the season-long weed-free check.
Nomenclature: Rottboellia cochinchinensis (Lour.) W. Clayton ROOEX, itchgrass; Zea mays L. DeKalb 689, corn.