The effect of season-long interference by bands of weeds growing only between rows (BR) on field corn yields has not been reported before or compared with weedy and weed-free (i.e., weeded) plots or bands of weeds growing only in row (IR). The null hypothesis of this research was that field corn yields would be ranked as weed-free > BR weedy only > IR weedy only > weedy (IR BR weedy) in response to season-long weed interference by these four treatments. Weeds growing as bands closest to field corn were expected to reduce field corn yields more than those growing as bands further away between field corn rows. Field corn yield response to these four weed interference treatments was studied in Missouri for 4 yr. In late summer, most weed ground cover consisted of giant foxtail, the chief weed present, and common waterhemp, a lesser weed. Observed field corn yields averaged for 4 yr were ranked as weed-free > IR weedy only > BR weedy only > weedy. Field corn yields of the IR weedy only, BR weedy only, and weedy treatments averaged 76, 63, and 41%, respectively, of the weed-free treatment (=7,820 kg/ha). In two of the 4 yr, field corn yield of the IR weedy treatment exceeded that of the BR weedy treatment, whereas these treatments could not be statistically distinguished from one another in the other 2 yr. These research results refute the null hypothesis and demonstrate that it may be more critical to control BR than IR weeds, although controlling both BR and IR weeds maximized field corn yields.
Nomenclature: Common waterhemp, Amaranthus rudus Sauer #3 AMATA; giant foxtail, Setaria faberii Herrm. SETFA; corn, Zea mays L. ‘Pioneer 3379’ and ‘Pioneer 33G28’.
Additional index words: Banding, competition, interference.
Abbreviations: BR, between row; IR, in row.