Variation in spring emergence periodicity (both before and after crop seeding) of summer annual weeds is a potentially exploitable attribute that may be applied to weed management in canola. Tillage intensity, which is decreasing in the Great Plains of North America, may influence emergence periodicity of summer annual weeds. Emergence periodicity of common lambsquarters, field pennycress, green foxtail, redroot pigweed, wild buckwheat, wild mustard, and wild oat were monitored during the spring of 2000 in 17 producers' canola fields across southern Manitoba, Canada. The fields represented a region of approximately 2 million ha and included a broad range of soil types, agronomic practices, environmental conditions, and seedbank distributions. Fields were grouped into one of two broad tillage classifications (conventional or conservation). For most species, except redroot pigweed and wild mustard, conservation tillage promoted earlier emergence than conventional tillage in terms of both thermal and chronological time. The differences were significant even though there was only a limited range of tillage intensity for the two tillage classes within this region. Onset of canola crop emergence preceded that of all but one weed species in the conservation-tillage fields and five weed species in the conventional-tillage fields. This suggests that canola seeded in conservation- vs. conventional-tillage systems may have a competitive advantage by way of an earlier relative time of crop emergence. The influence of tillage system on weed emergence periodicity is likely due to the influence of tillage on the vertical origin of weed seedling recruitment because measurements of soil temperature and soil moisture did not help to fully explain the differences in emergence periodicity between tillage systems. The results from this study will facilitate weed control timing decisions in canola and provide validation data for weed emergence models.
Nomenclature: Canola, Brassica napus L. BRSNS; common lambsquarters, Chenopodium album L. CHEAL; field pennycress, Thlaspi arvense L. THLAR; green foxtail, Setaria viridis (L.) Beauv. SETVI; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L. AMARE; wild buckwheat, Polygonum convolvulus L. POLCO; wild mustard, Sinapis arvensis L. SINAR; wild oat, Avena fatua L. AVEFA.