- Agronomic: soybeans
- Animals: poultry
- Pest Management: weed ecology
- Production Systems: organic agriculture, transitioning to organic
Project Abstract Soybean weed management systems in the Southeastern U.S. rely almost exclusively on conventional herbicide practices. Concerns of genetically modified food and the expansion of some organic soybean markets have led some producers to explore alternative weed management systems that utilize a variety of tactics to reduce weed competitiveness. The use of more competitive soybean varieties could be one such tactic in a more diverse weed management program. We will investigate over 30 soybean genotypes in 2009 at Plymouth and Kinston agricultural research stations in North Carolina. A strip split plot design will be used with weedy and weed free treatments stripped across tests with soybean genotype subplots. Two potential genotype screening tactics, early percent ground cover and percent canopy light interception will be evaluated in effectiveness to estimate the competitiveness of soybean genotypes. Measurements of soybean traits potentially related to weed competitiveness such as early and late height, leaf length and width, leaflet length and width, and petiolule length will be made from 2 weeks after emergence (WAE) through 7 WAE. Soybean and weed biomass at 7 WAE in weedy and weed free plots will be measured to quantify the ability of genotypes to reduce weed biomass. Tests will be conducted to reveal correlations of weed suppressiveness with: early percent ground cover, percent canopy light interception and measured soybean traits.
Project objectives from proposal:
Objectives This project entails two main objectives: (1) identification of non destructive measurements that can be used in screening for soybean genotypes that are more competitive with weeds (2) identification of specific plant characteristics that increase a genotype’s competitiveness with weeds