Managing glyphosate-resistant weeds with cover crop associated with herbicide rotation and mixture

ABSTRACT Herbicide resistance has become a major concern for agricultural systems, and integrating weed management practices seem to be the most promise way for its mitigation. The effects of cropping systems including ruzigrass (Urochloa ruziziensis) associated with herbicide rotation programs were evaluated for the management of glyphosate resistant conyza (Conyza sumatrensis) and sourgrass (Digitaria insularis) in soybean and corn production systems. A 3x3 factorial was evaluated in four consecutive soybean (spring-summer) and corn (fall-winter) double cropping seasons. Factor A consisted of three combinations of cropping systems in the fall-winter: corn, corn plus ruzigrass, and ruzigrass alone. Factor B was based on increasing levels of diversity in herbicide mode of action over the four-year period (5, 8, and 11 MoAs). The results indicate that using ruzigrass significantly increased soil coverage by cover crop residues. In general, the cover crop was more efficient for conyza than for sourgrass control, whereas herbicide programs provided greater control on sourgrass than on conyza. Besides the weed suppression effect, the accumulation of ruzigrass biomass on the soil surface during the fall-winter also improved yield of soybean in the spring-summer. The integration of ruzigrass as a cover crop and the use of herbicide programs with multiple modes of action can provide efficient control of glyphosate-resistant conyza and sourgrass. The use of only one of these strategies was not effective in most cases, especially for the long term.