Experiments were carried out to investigate weed seed production in widely spaced spring wheat crops that received aggressive mechanical weed control (hoeing and harrowing) compared with that in narrowly spaced crops receiving less aggressive mechanical control (harrowing only). Three species (wild buckwheat [Polygonum convolvulus], ladysthumb [Polygonum persicaria], and common chickweed [Stellaria media]) were studied in three row-spacing treatments (10, 20, and 30 cm) and two sowing densities (140 and 180 kg ha−1). Average seed production per surviving plant was up to three times higher in the 30-cm treatments compared with the 10-cm treatments. Taking into account the 40–50% weed mortality resulting from control in the 30-cm treatments, seed production per seedling was still higher in the 30-cm treatments than in the 10-cm treatments. Differences in wheat yield were not found among treatments. From the perspective of long-term weed population management, using a narrow row spacing would be more effective in spring wheat on the basis of experiments with the weed species considered here.
Nomenclature: Ladysthumb, Polygonum persicaria L., POLPE; wild buckwheat, Polygonum convolvulus L., POLCO; common chickweed, Stellaria media (L.) Vill., STEME; wheat, Triticum aestivum L.