A simulation of herbicide use based on weed spatial distribution


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Intensive field surveys were conducted to deter mine the spatial distribution of composite broad leaf and grass weed seedlings in seven maize and five soybean fields in eastern Nebraska in 1992. Farmer fields where herbicides were applied in a 38‐cm band over 76‐cm spaced rows were chosen for this study. Weed populations were measured in the interrow and in the band‐treated intrarow. Spatial maps constructed for grass or broadleaf weeds revealed that individual species as well as species assemblages are highly aggregated. On average, 30% of the sample area in the 12 fields surveyed was free of broadleaf weeds and 70% free of grass weeds in the interrow area (no her bicide). Where a pre‐emergence herbicide was applied (intrarow), 71% of the sample area was free of broadleaf weeds and 94% free of grass weeds. Increasing the threshold to some value other than zero resulted in a larger field area not requiring a herbicide application. The results of these distribution studies indicate that herbicide use could be substantially reduced if weed dis tribution maps or real‐time plant sensing were available to provide information for intermittent herbicide application systems or refinement of economic thresholds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-205
Number of pages9
JournalWeed Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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