Increasing crop competitiveness to weeds through crop breeding

Todd A. Pester, Orvin C. Burnside, James H. Orf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Increasing the ability of crops to compete against weeds, through either enhancing crop tolerance or crop interference to weeds, provides an attractive addition to current weed control practices and could be an integral component of weed management systems. Research has shown that considerable variability exists among crop culti-vars with respect to their ability to compete with weeds. Despite this evidence, directed research on competitive crops has been minimal. Reasons for this lack of emphasis in plant breeding programs include the effectiveness of current weed management with tillage and herbicides, and the lack of easily identifiable crop characteristics that are indicative of weed competitiveness. Expanded knowledge of specific crop-weed interactions would facilitate crop competitiveness to weeds through either crop management practices or plant breeding. Plant breeders need basic and applied information to identify favorable crop-weed competitive traits in order to enhance or incorporate those traits into crop cultivars. Accelerated research on weed competitive crops should lead to more economical, effective, and feasible integrated weed management programs for all crops.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-76
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Crop Production
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2 1999


  • Crop morphology
  • Integrated weed management
  • Plant breeding


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