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Crop yield losses due to kochia (Bassia scoparia) interference

Charles M. Geddes, Shaun M. Sharpe
Crop protection 2022 v.157 pp. 105981
Avena sativa, Bassia scoparia, Beta vulgaris, Brassica napus, Glycine max, Helianthus annuus, Pisum sativum, Salsola, Sorghum bicolor, Triticum aestivum, Zea mays, abiotic stress, canola, corn, crop failure, crop yield, farms, herbicide resistance, herbicides, oats, peas, plant protection, seed dispersal, silage, soybeans, spring, spring wheat, stress tolerance, sugar beet, North America
Kochia [Bassia scoparia (L.) A.J. Scott] is a problematic summer-annual tumbleweed that infests cropped and noncropped areas in the Great Plains of North America. Efficient seed dispersal, prolific seed production, and abiotic stress tolerance facilitate invasiveness of kochia, while both resource-limiting and non-resource-limiting interference aid in rapid colonization of disturbed areas. Resistance to up to four herbicide sites-of-action allow kochia to escape herbicidal control in several field crops and contribute to crop yield losses. Near-complete crop failure (>90% yield loss) has been reported due to kochia interference in corn (Zea mays L.), sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench ssp. bicolor], sugar beet (Beta vulgaris L.), and sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.). Mean reported yield losses due to kochia interference were greatest in grain corn (68%), followed by sorghum (62%), soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] (52%), sugar beet (46%), silage corn (40%), sunflower (23%), spring wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) (20%), spring canola (Brassica napus L.) (13%), field pea (Pisum sativum L.) (13%), and spring oat (Avena sativa L.) (7%). However, crop yield losses due to kochia interference depend on several factors, including kochia density, relative emergence timing, duration of interference, the environment, and potentially also fitness penalties caused by pleiotropic effects of herbicide resistance traits. This review provides a synthesis of the impact of kochia on farm operations, crop yield losses due to kochia interference, factors affecting kochia interference, and interference mechanisms. Together, this synthesis highlights the critical need for research identifying integrated strategies for kochia management, and their subsequent adoption by the farming community.