Understanding Waterhemp: From Pollination To Seed Maturation

The waterhemp towering above the crop canopy in many fields is clear evidence of how difficult it is to manage this weed species, said Aaron Hager, associate professor of weed sciences at the University of Illinois.

Female waterhemp plants growing in noncompetitive conditions can produce more than one million seeds per plant (fewer under competitive conditions).

“The capacity to produce a large amount of seed helps facilitate the rapid spread of waterhemp infestations, especially when the seeds are scattered by harvesting and tillage equipment,” Hager said.

He added that applying herbicide to reproductive-stage waterhemp plants is usually not recommended because this practice does not significantly affect the amount of seed they produce. “One reason is that the interval between when the female waterhemp flowers are pollinated and when the seeds become mature is very short,” he explained.

University of Illinois researchers examined how long it took female waterhemp plants to produce viable seed after the flowers were pollinated. In the study, female waterhemp plants were pollinated for 24 hours and then separated from the male plants. Branches from female plants were harvested at various intervals after pollination and placed under either warm (86° F) or cold (-4° F) conditions for 48 hours, then stored at room temperature until all harvests were complete.

The researchers then conducted germination tests to determine how soon after pollination the seeds became viable. They found that seeds that were stored for 48 hours under warm conditions became viable 7 to 9 days after pollination; seeds stored under the cold conditions became viable 11 days after pollination.

“The results confirm that female waterhemp plants can produce viable seed very soon after pollination,” Hager said.

Female plants in a particular field probably are not all pollinated at the same time. Thus, total seed production probably occurs over several weeks during late summer, even though individual seeds can mature relatively quickly. When removing scattered, mature waterhemp plants from a field, take along a plastic garbage bag to carry out any female plants with seed, as the seed might already be mature.

Topics:

Leave a Reply

Herbicides Stories

Young corn plants in soil
HerbicidesBest Management Practices To Control PPO-Resistant Weeds
March 14, 2017
Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed Read More
Soybean Plant closeup
HerbicidesRegional Listening Sessions Give Farmers A Voice In The Battle Against Herbicide Resistance
February 27, 2017
Both scientists and regulators have had a lot to say about the growing problem of herbicide resistance and how weed Read More
Palmer amaranth
HerbicidesSeed Industry Introduces New Palmer Amaranth Test
January 31, 2017
Weed seed can be spread in a variety of ways-including by air, animals, rain, soil and mechanical means. In a Read More
Giant Ragweed
HerbicidesHerbicide Resistance Goes Viral On Twitter
January 26, 2017
“Think differently. Behave differently. Diversify however you can. Not every practice fits on every acre.” That was the message from Read More
Trending Articles
AdjuvantsA New Weed-Control Era Begins: But First, One Last Obstacle
March 4, 2017
There is trepidation, there is reluctance, and there is excitement. Ag retailers feel it all about the new dicamba and Read More
LIFT Academy video screenshot
Crop InputsLIFT Agriculture Academy: A Q&A With West Central Distribution’s Dean Hendrickson
March 1, 2017
West Central Distribution recently launched its LIFT Agriculture Academy, a new, premiere training and professional development resource for West Central’s ag Read More
Farmer and aptop
Matt Hopkins10 Warning Signs Your Website Is Grossly Outdated
February 8, 2017
Your Website is often a visitor’s first impression of your ag retail business. A positive first impression can set the Read More
AgriSync
Matt Hopkins17 Agriculture Apps That Will Help You Farm Smarter In 2017
December 9, 2016
Ag professionals are working smarter, not harder, than ever before. Smart farming technologies have enabled them to reduce costs, maximize Read More
R4023 Sprayer, John Deere
CropLife 100Ag Retail Equipment Report: The Green Party Continues
December 7, 2016
In the annual race for sales in the ag retail equipment marketplace, the color schemes for participants are a little Read More
Mike Stern
Precision AgClimate Corp. CEO Talks Retailer Support For Digital Ag
December 1, 2016
CropLife Magazine’s sister publication, AgriBusiness Global, recently sat down with Mike Stern, CEO of The Climate Corp., following the Monsanto subsidiary’s Read More
Latest News
UncategorizedPrecision Ag, Iowa Water, and GM Corn Updates
March 24, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj look at the state of precision agriculture, the dismissal of the Des Moines Water Read More
Pam Marrone
Crop InputsMarrone Bio Innovations Enters Biostimulants Market Wit…
March 23, 2017
Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc. is expanding beyond biopesticides and crop protection and into the biostimulant market by commercially launching Haven Read More
Nutrients for Life Foundation Teacher
FertilizerNutrients For Life Foundation Celebrates 10 Years Teach…
March 23, 2017
Those in agriculture know fertilizer is a vital ingredient to grow strong, productive crops. In fact, fertilizer is responsible for Read More
ManagementThink You Know Water? Take WinField United’s R…
March 22, 2017
Water is among our most precious resources, and arguably the hardest working, with just one percent available for human use, Read More
Corn Field
LegislationTFI Hopes Court Dismissal Is ‘Final Chapter’…
March 20, 2017
The Fertilizer Institute (TFI) released the following statement from President, Chris Jahn on the March 17, 2017, federal court dismissal Read More
Wheat Growers
Industry NewsWheat Growers CEO Dale Locken To Retire
March 20, 2017
CEO Dale Locken has announced that he plans to retire from Wheat Growers. Locken has served almost 15 years as Read More
Bayer Monsanto
Eric SfiligojBayer-Monsanto: Life, LibertyLink, And The Pursuit Of R…
March 20, 2017
As the calendar officially turns to spring, life is in full renewal mode. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and Read More
Corn Field
Crop InputsUltra Yield Micronutrients Acquires Kronos Micronutrien…
March 16, 2017
Ultra Yield Micronutrients, Inc. ”Ultra”, an affiliate of Cameron Chemicals, Inc., is pleased to announce that it has acquired the Read More
ManagementSnowstorms, Asset Sales, and Soybeans Prices
March 16, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss the weather, precision ag, crop protection company mergers, and commodity prices in this Read More
Soybean Field
Seed/BiotechBayer Invests $8.1 million In Soybean Advancement In Th…
March 16, 2017
Growers in Illinois and across the Midwest now have the added benefit of a state-of-the-art soybean research facility, increasing accessibility Read More
CHS
CropLife 100CHS Acquires Western Co-op Transport Association
March 16, 2017
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has purchased Western Co-op Transport Read More
Young corn plants in soil
HerbicidesBest Management Practices To Control PPO-Resistant Weed…
March 14, 2017
Weeds resistant to the class of herbicides called protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitors are spreading at a faster rate than weed Read More
Photo credit: The United Soybean Board/The Soybean Checkoff.
Eric SfiligojFungicide Resistance On The Horizon
March 13, 2017
For many years now, the agricultural market has struggled to keep ahead of an ever-growing number of herbicide-resistant weeds. According Read More
Management2017 Commodity Classic Review
March 10, 2017
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj discuss what happened at the recent Commodity Classic in San Antonio. Read More
Farmer using AgriSync
ManagementMajor AgriSync Update Aims To Extend Ag Experts’ Power …
March 10, 2017
AgriSync announced a major update to its leading collaboration and service management tool for professional ag advisors and their farmer Read More
Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App
EquipmentNew Agrible Pocket Spray Smart App Alleviates Spraying …
March 10, 2017
There’s a new app to help farmers decide when to spray their fields. Pocket Spray Smart is a free iOS Read More
BPIA logo
Crop InputsBiological Products Trade Association Changes Name, Exp…
March 9, 2017
The Biological Products Industry Alliance (BPIA), formerly the BioPesticide Industry Alliance, is the new name of the rapidly growing U.S.-based Read More
BBI MagnaSpread Salford BBI
Equipment14 Fertilizer Spreaders For 2017
March 9, 2017
Application equipment manufacturers stressed flexibility and accuracy with this year’s crop of fertilizer spreaders. From AGCO’s TerraGator TG9300B and Case IH’s 810 Read More