In the northern region of the northern Great Plains of North America, the relative abundance of dandelion in field crops has increased over the past two decades, and farmers need information to help them to better manage this species and slow its spread. A study was conducted to determine the emergence timing of dandelion from both rootstock and seed, and to investigate the efficacy of preseeding (spring) versus postharvest (autumn) herbicide treatments on dandelion in spring wheat fields. Emergence of dandelion plants from rootstock was very early (mean time to 50% emergence [E50] of 430 growing degree days [GDD] Tbase 0 C), while seedling emergence was much later (mean E50 of 980 GDD). Dandelion does not have a persistent seed bank, and seedling emergence occurred only after dandelion plants arising from rootstock flowered and shed seed. Herbicide treatments that included glyphosate plus florasulam, glyphosate plus tribenuron, or higher rates of glyphosate alone (≥675 g ae ha−1), provided high levels of dandelion control. Autumn herbicide applications were more effective than spring applications for reducing dandelion infestation levels (both aboveground biomass and density). Autumn herbicide applications came after peak emergence timing for dandelion plants emerging both from rootstock and from seed. Because dandelion is a simple perennial, population spread must be limited by controlling seedlings. Autumn herbicide applications provide control of dandelion seedlings and therefore, should limit dandelion population spread.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; florasulam; tribenuron; dandelion, Taraxacum officinale Weber in Wiggers, TAROF; spring wheat, Triticum aestivum L. TRZAS ‘AC Barrie’.