Efficacy of preplant corn and soybean herbicides on star-of-Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) in no-till crop production.
Field research was conducted to evaluate the efficacy of preplant herbicides commonly used in no-till corn and soybean production and to determine the efficacy of three application timings in the spring for star-of-Bethlehem bulb management. A single, preplant application of herbicide treatments that included flumioxazin, sulfentrazone, or paraquat resulted in 91 to 97% control of star-of-Bethlehem at 14 d after treatment (DAT). Star-of-Bethlehem control from atrazine and metribuzin was moderate (70 to 75%) at the Marion location but poor (<20%) at Murphysboro. Regardless of the initial foliar control at 14 DAT from treatments included in the corn and soybean herbicide screen, only applications containing paraquat resulted in extensive control (75 to 86%) of star-of-Bethlehem foliar regrowth by 1 yr after treatment. Star-of-Bethlehem was most responsive to herbicide applications in mid-March in southern Illinois when compared with applications made March 1 and April 11. The mid-March application timing corresponded to the vegetative reproductive stage, approximately 3 wk prior to flowering. The average density of star-of-Bethlehem bulbs in nontreated plots occupied 7.9% of the field soil volume in the upper 7.6 cm of the soil profile. Spring applications of paraquat (repeated 2 yr consecutively) reduced bulb density in the soil by 88%, compared with 5% or less bulb reduction for consecutive applications of glyphosate or 2,4-D ester applied alone. Overall, paraquat and paraquat tank mixtures provided the most effective and consistent control of star-of-Bethlehem foliage and underground bulbs, which is paramount for long-term management of this invasive species.