Weed Control and Response of Yellow and White Popcorn Hybrids to Herbicides

Weed Control and Response of Yellow and White Popcorn Hybrids to Herbicides

Popcorn was grown on nearly 221,000 acres of land in the United States in 2017, the most recent USDA record. Nebraska, with 64,000 acres of popcorn, was the leading producer, accounting for 34% of US production with 368,000,000 pounds of the total 1 billion pounds produced that year. Other top producers are Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Nebraska, and Ohio.

—  USDA NASS 2017 Census of Agriculture

Popcorn, an important field crop for many producers in the Midwest, is not genetically modified. There is no herbicide-resistance to glyphosate, glufosinate, or 2,4-D as there is in field corn. As the number of herbicide-resistant weeds increases, it is even more important to use herbicides with multiple effective sites of action, to manage weeds in popcorn.

While there is considerable research on field corn and sweet corn sensitivity to herbicides, there is a lack of information on popcorn sensitivity to herbicides. Many herbicides labeled in field corn are not labeled in popcorn, are only labeled in yellow popcorn, or only labeled for a pre-emergence application in popcorn. There is a perception that popcorn is sensitive to some field corn herbicides and that white popcorn is more sensitive to herbicides than yellow popcorn (Loux et al., 2017).

Chart of broadleaf weed control in popcorn
Figure 1. Broadleaf weed control four weeks after PRE application. (All figures link to larger versions.)
Chart of foxtail weed control in popcorn
Figure 2. Foxtail control four weeks after PRE application in 2017 and 2018.

To address this, a two-year study was conducted to evaluate weed control, crop growth, and yield response in Nebraska commercially available yellow and white popcorn hybrids treated with pre- and post-emergence herbicides labeled in yellow popcorn.

Field studies (Tables 1-2) were conducted in 2017 and 2018 at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center with yellow and white popcorn hybrids commercially available in Nebraska. Herbicide programs provided excellent broadleaf weed control in popcorn (velvetleaf, common lambsquarters, common waterhemp, and Palmer amaranth). Only slight herbicide injury occurred in popcorn hybrids and it did not translate to measurable yield loss. Popcorn growers should read and follow herbicide labels as not all herbicides were used as labeled in this research.

Photo of field trial evaluating Verdict weed control in popcorn
Figure 3. Anthem MAXX 5 fl oz/acre (labeled rate) six weeks after PRE application (2018)
Photo of field trial evaluating Resicore weed control in popcorn
Figure 4. Degree Xtra 3.7 fl oz/acre (labeled rate) six weeks after PRE application (2018)

Results

Eight popcorn hybrids were tested for herbicide sensitivity (Table 1). Four PRE and four POST herbicides were tested on the eight popcorn hybrids at a 1X rate (labeled rate) and 2X (twice the labeled rate). The 2X rate is for research purposes only and not approved on the label.

  • Across all hybrids, PRE herbicide treatments resulted in 4-8% injury (100% = complete plant death).
  • No herbicide injury was observed from POST herbicides applied in this study.
  • The two white hybrids did not show greater injury than the six yellow hybrids.
  • Weed control from PRE herbicides four to six weeks after treatment is summarized in Figures 1-6.
  • At labeled rates, broadleaf weed control in both years ranged from 95% to 99% with all treatments three weeks after POST (100% = complete weed control).
  • Foxtail control in 2017 ranged from 95% to 99% at three weeks after POST herbicide applied, but was limited (72%-86%) for most treatments in 2018.
  • Yield losses ranged from 0% to 7% in herbicide treatments, with a 42% yield loss when weeds were allowed to compete without any herbicide application.
  • Although slight hybrid differences in herbicide sensitivity were detected, the differences were not linked to popcorn color.
  • Although this research suggests more herbicide options for popcorn growers, herbicide labels must still be followed.
Photo of field trial evaluating Verdict weed control in popcorn
Figure 5. Verdict 15 fl oz/acre (labeled rate) six weeks after PRE application (2018)
Photo of field trial evaluating Resicore weed control in popcorn
Figure 6. Resicore 2.5 qt/acre (labeled rate) six weeks after PRE application (2018)

References

Loux, M.M., D. Doohan, A.F. Dobbels, W.G. Johnson, B.G. Young, T.R. Legleiter, and A. Hager. 2017. 2017 Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Pub# WS16 / Bulletin 789 / IL15. The Ohio State University.

US Department of Agriculture. National Agricultural Statistics Service, Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://quickstats.nass.usda.gov/ Accessed July 30, 2019

Table 1. Commercially available white and yellow popcorn hybrids tested in field experiments conducted at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center, NE, in 2017 and 2018.
HybridKernel typeSupplier
M2101 yellow Conagra Brands, LLC, Chicago, IL 60654
VYP315 yellow Conagra Brands, LLC, Chicago, IL 60654
VYP220 yellow Conagra Brands, LLC, Chicago, IL 60654
VWP111 white Conagra Brands, LLC, Chicago, IL 60654
N1H820 yellow Zangger Popcorn Hybrids, North Loup, NE 68859
R265 yellow Crookham Company, Caldwell, ID 83606
SH3707W white Schlessman Seed Company, Milan, OH 44846
AP2507 yellow Agricultural Alumni Seed Improvement Association, Inc, Romney, Indiana 47981

Table 2. Herbicide treatments tested in a commercial popcorn hybrid field experiment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln South Central Agricultural Laboratory near Clay Center, NE, in 2017 and 2018.
Herbicide programRelative rate*Adjuvant§Label stipulations¶
1 Anthem MAXX (5 fl oz/acre) 1x None None
Diflexx DUO (32 fl oz/acre) 1x COC Contact seed provider or test in a small area first.
2 Anthem MAXX (10 fl oz/acre) 2x None None
Diflexx DUO (64 fl oz/acre) 2x COC Contact seed provider or test in a small area first.
3 Degree Xtra (3.7 qt/acre) 1x None None
Solstice (3.15 fl oz/acre) 1x NIS Yellow popcorn only; No UAN or AMS, use NIS; contact seed company, field man, or university specialist.
4 Degree Xtra (7.4 qt/acre) 2x None None
Solstice (6.3 fl oz/acre) 2x NIS Yellow popcorn only; No UAN or AMS, use NIS; contact seed company, field man, or university specialist.
5 Resicore (2.5 qt/acre) 1x None Yellow popcorn only; PRE only
Armezon PRO (20 fl oz/acre) 1x MSO Refer to seed company recommendations; 951 g ai ha‒1 maximum
6 Resicore (5 qt/acre) 2x None Yellow popcorn only; PRE only
Armezon PRO (40 fl oz/acre) 2x MSO Refer to seed company recommendations; 951 g ai ha‒1 maximum
7 Verdict (15 fl oz/acre) 1x None Verify with supplier
Status (10 oz/acre) 1x NIS+AMS Verify with supplier
8 Verdict (30 fl oz/acre) 2x None Verify with supplier
Status (20 oz/acre) 2x NIS+AMS Verify with supplier

Abbreviations: AMS, ammonium sulfate (DSM Chemicals North America Inc., Augusta, GA); COC, crop oil concentrate (Agridex, Helena Chemical Co., Collierville, TN); PRE, pre-emergence; POST, post-emergence; MSO, methylated seed oil (Southern Ag Inc., Suwanee, GA); NIS, nonionic surfactant (Induce, Helena Chemical Co., Collierville, TN)
*The 2X rate is for research purposes only and not approved on the label.
§ AMS at 5% (v/v), COC or MSO at 1% (v/v), and NIS at 0.25% (v/v) were mixed with herbicides.
¶ Summary of the language used in product labels. Product labels can be found at https://cdms.net