Duration of volunteer potato (Solanum tuberosum) interference in bulb onion

Martin M. Williams, Corey V. Ransom, W. Mack Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Previous research with annual weed species indicates that critical timing of weed removal begins primarily after the two-leaf stage of onion, a time when postemergence (POST) herbicides can first be applied. Volunteer potato is difficult to manage and persists in onion fields of western United States. The purpose of this research was to quantify the duration of volunteer potato interference on yield and market grade of onion as well as potato tuber production. Volunteer potato interference caused a 5% yield loss before onions reached the two-leaf stage, at two of three locations. Relative to weed-free plots, onion bulb diameter was reduced as duration of interference increased, resulting in smaller proportions of marketable bulbs. Volunteer potato produced daughter tubers shortly after emergence, which explains, in part, weed persistence despite removal of shoots with contact herbicides, cultivation, and hand-weeding in onion. Significant losses in onion yield and bulb diameter are likely given current volunteer potato management systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalWeed Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2005


  • Competition
  • Critical time of weed removal
  • Critical weed-free period

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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