A 3-yr study was conducted on nine farms across southern Ontario to evaluate the risks and benefits of different approaches to weed management in corn and soybean. Weed control decisions were based on field scouting and recommendations from the Ontario version of HADSS™, the herbicide application decision support system. Treatments were selected to maximize profit (economic threshold approach) or to maximize yield (highest treatment efficacy). Reduced rates of the high efficacy treatment for each field also were included. Weed density before and after treatment, crop yields, weed seed return, and the effect of weed control decisions on weed density 1 yr after treatment were assessed. Crop yield varied among years and farms but was not affected by weed control treatment. Weed control at 28 d after treatment (DAT) was often lower and weed density, biomass, and seed production 70 DAT were often higher with the profit maximization approach compared with the yield maximization approach. However, weed density 1 yr later, after each cooperator had applied a general weed control program, did not vary significantly among the previous year's weed control treatments. Reduced rates of the high efficacy treatments did not lead to increased weed problems the next year, despite lower weed control and increased weed seed production in some years. During the 3 yr of the study, weed control costs with the profit maximization approach were approximately Can$45/ha less than with the yield maximization approach.
Nomenclature: Corn, Zea mays L.; soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr.
Additional index words: Economic threshold, net benefit, reduced rate, weed seed rain.
Abbreviations: DAT, days after treatment; HADSS, herbicide application decision support system; POST, postemergence.