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Changes in the weed seedbank due to crop production practices are an important determinant of subsequent weed problems. Research was conducted to evaluate effects of primary tillage (moldboard plowing and chisel plowing), secondary tillage (row cultivation), and herbicides on weed species changes in the soil seedbank in three irrigated row crop rotational sequences over a 3-yr period. The cropping sequences consisted of continuous corn for 3 yr, continuous pinto beans for 3 yr, or sugarbeets for 2 yr followed by corn in the third year. Cropping sequence was the most dominant factor influencing species composition in the seedbank. This was partly due to herbicide use in each cropping sequence producing a shift in the weed seedbank in favor of species less susceptible to applied herbicides. A comparison between moldboard and chisel plowing indicated that weed seed of predominant species were more prevalent near the soil surface after chisel plowing. The number of predominant annual weed seed over the 3-yr period increased more rapidly in the seedbank after chisel plowing compared to moldboard plowing unless effective weed control could be maintained to produce a decline in seedbank number. In this case, seedbank decline was generally more rapid after moldboard plowing. Row cultivation generally reduced seedbanks of most species compared to uncultivated plots in the pinto bean and sugarbeet sequences. A simple model was developed to validate the observation that rate of change in the weed seedbank is influenced by type of tillage and weed control effectiveness.
Weed Science © 1992 Weed Science Society of America