Common pokeweed (Phytolacca americana L.) is a warm-season perennial that grows well in nondisturbed areas such as fence rows and woodland borders. In recent years it has begun spreading to com and soybean fields where no-tillage practices are used. The deep taproot that is characteristic of common pokeweed, makes this weed difficult to manage, particularly in no-till plantings. The green leaves, fleshy stems, and purple berries of common pokeweed can inhibit the harvesting process and lead to discounts at the elevator for high moisture and stained seed.

The equipment industry has developed cultivators with large sweeps capable of operating in no-till plantings with minimal disturbance to stubble and plant residue at the soil surface. These cultivators are called "conservation tillage cultivators" and are intended to operate at shallow depths to cut plants below the soil surface.

The fact that plants with deep taproots generally do not tolerate tillage may make the conservation tillage cultivator a valuable tool for managing common pokeweed in no-till plantings. The objective of this research was to evaluate the effectiveness of a conservation-till cultivator with and without herbicide treatments for common pokeweed control in corn and soybean.

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Funding Information

This research was supported in part by the Kentucky Com Promotion Council who provided financial support and John Deere Company who provided an equipment grant for the 886 Conservation Tillage cultivator.