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International Journal of Agronomy
Volume 2016, Article ID 1524389, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/1524389
Research Article

Assessing the Economic Impact of Inversion Tillage, Cover Crops, and Herbicide Regimes in Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) Infested Cotton

1National Soil Dynamics Laboratory, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture, 411 South Donahue Drive, Auburn, AL 36852, USA
2The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, Valley Laboratory, 153 Cook Hill Road, P.O. Box 248, Windsor, CT 06095, USA

Received 26 July 2016; Revised 7 October 2016; Accepted 2 November 2016

Academic Editor: Patrick J. Tranel

Copyright © 2016 Leah M. Duzy et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) producers in Alabama are faced with a rapidly expanding problem that decreases yields and increases production costs: herbicide-resistant weeds. Producers increasingly rely on integrated weed management strategies that raise production costs. This analysis evaluated how tillage, cover crops, and herbicide regime affected net returns above variable treatment costs (net returns) for cotton production in Alabama from 2009 to 2011 under pressure from Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats.). Annual net returns were compared for two tillage treatments (inversion and noninversion tillage), three cover crops (crimson clover [Trifolium incarnatum L.], cereal rye [Secale cereal L.], and winter fallow), and three herbicide regimes (PRE, POST, and PRE+POST). Results indicate that under heavy Palmer amaranth population densities one year of inversion tillage followed by two years of noninversion tillage, along with a POST or PRE+POST herbicide application had the highest net returns in the first year; however, the economic benefit of inversion tillage, across all herbicide treatments, was nonexistent in 2010 and 2011. Cotton producers with Palmer amaranth infestations would likely benefit from cultural controls, in conjunction with herbicide applications, as part of their weed management system to increase net returns.