Glyphosate-resistant (GR) volunteer corn has emerged as a problematic weed in corn∶soybean rotational systems, partly because of the rapid increase in adoption of corn hybrids that contain traits for both glyphosate and insect resistance. Volunteer GR corn can decrease soybean yields. The objectives of this study were to quantify the impact of volunteer corn on soybean growth and yield and determine how volunteer corn densities affect western corn rootworm (WCR) emergence. Volunteer corn seed was hand-planted at targeted densities of 0.5, 2, 4, 8, 12, and 16 seeds m−2 at soybean planting and 21 d after planting to evaluate both early- and late-emerging cohorts. WCR emergence was assessed with the use of field emergence traps placed over individual corn plants in the 0.5- and 16-plants-m−2 plots in 2008 and 2009. In 2010, WCR emergence traps were also placed over individual and clumped volunteer corn plants at densities of two and eight plants m−2. Soybean yield reductions ranged from 10 to 41% where early-emerging volunteer corn densities ranged from 0.5 to 16 plants m−2. No soybean yield loss occurred with the late-emerging cohort of volunteer corn. Twice as many adult WCRs emerged from a single volunteer corn plant growing at densities of 8 and 16 plants m−2, compared with plots containing 0.5 and 2 plants m−2. These results demonstrate that controlling volunteer corn will not only prevent soybean yield loss, but also may reduce the risk of WCR larval survival after exposure to Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis Berliner derived) corn.
Nomenclature: Glyphosate; western corn rootworm, Diabrotica virgifera virgifera LeConte;corn, Zea mays L.; soybean, Glycine max L. Merr.