Bengal dayflower (also known as tropical spiderwort) is one of the most troublesome weeds in peanut in Georgia, United States. Field studies conducted in 2004 and 2005 evaluated the relationship between the duration of Bengal dayflower interference and peanut yield in an effort to optimize the timing of weed control. In 2004, the critical period of weed control (CPWC) necessary to avoid greater than 5% peanut yield loss was between 316 and 607 growing degree days (GDD), which corresponded to an interval between June 8 and July 2. In 2005, the CPWC ranged from 185 to 547 GDD, an interval between May 30 and July 3. Maximum yield loss in 2005 from season-long interference of Bengal dayflower was 51%. In 2004, production of peanut pods was eliminated by interference with Bengal dayflower for the initial 6 wk (495 GDD) of the growing season. Robust Bengal dayflower growth in 2004 shaded the peanut crop, likely intercepting fungicide applications and causing a reduction in peanut yield. Therefore, the competitive effects of Bengal dayflower are likely complicated with the activity of plant pathogens. In spite of higher Bengal dayflower population densities, greater Bengal dayflower growth, and greater peanut yield losses in 2004 than in 2005, the CPWC was a relatively similar 4-wk period that ended during the first week of July, for peanut that was planted in the first week of May.
Nomenclature: Bengal dayflower (tropical spiderwort), Commelina Bengalensis L. COMBE, peanut, Arachis hypogaea L