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Role of Edamame (Glycine max) Seed Size in Early-Season Crop–Weed Interactions

  • Laura E. Crawford (a1) and Martin M. Williams (a2)

Edamame [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] differs from grain-type soybean in several aspects, one being that edamame seeds are 65% to 100% larger than grain-type soybean seed. Crop seed size has implications for weed management in grain-type soybean; however, the extent to which this observation holds true for edamame is unknown. Because weed interference continues to be a barrier to domestic edamame production, the objective was to quantify the effect of edamame seed size on the crop’s ability to tolerate weed interference (CT) and the crop’s ability to suppress weeds (WSA). Five edamame cultivars plus one grain-type cultivar were each sorted to create “small” and “large” seed size classes. Seed lots were included in a split–split plot design, whereby an additional experimental factor was presence or absence of velvetleaf (Abutilon theophrasti Medik.). Crop and weed emergence and growth were monitored through 8 wk after emergence (WAE). Crop plants from large seed had higher tolerance to A. theophrasti than plants from small seed, as evidenced by crop height, area, and biomass. Edamame seed size had little effect on WSA; however, crop cultivars differentially reduced A. theophrasti leaf area and biomass at 4 and 8 WAE. While both seed size and edamame cultivar influence early-season crop competitive ability, the magnitude of these factors on CT and WSA underscores the importance of considering them not as stand-alone tactics but rather as useful additions to a more comprehensive integrated weed management system.

Corresponding author
*Author for correspondence: Martin M. Williams II, USDA-ARS, 1102 S. Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801. (Email:
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Weed Science
  • ISSN: 0043-1745
  • EISSN: 1550-2759
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