Burcucumber

This weed is more of a problem during wet summers and is the poster child for Integrated Weed Management.
Burcucumber - Articles

Updated: June 2, 2015

Burcucumber

We have had a few calls about burcucumber over the last two weeks, but expect many more with the wet weather that has recently moved into the state. Burcucumber continues to raise its head in different areas of the regions of the mid-Atlantic and eastern cornbelt every year and is a particular problem during wet summers. Historically, this plant was a river bottom species that really does well in heavy soils that typically have good soil moisture.

Seedlings typically emerge in early May and will continue to germinate and emerge into late July or early August depending on the weather.

This prolonged germination period makes it very difficult to manage and particularly in corn where limited control can be accomplished once the corn becomes too big for post herbicide applications. This weed not only competes for limited resources but can make corn and soybean harvest very difficult due to his viney growth habit which can clog both choppers and combines.

We consider this weed the "poster child" for integrated management since it really requires multiple tactics to reduce the infestation and prevent weed-crop competition and harvest losses. Some of our standard management recommendations include,

  • Prevent competition and harvest losses as much as possible. Seed dissemination via equipment (combines in particular) is a real problem.
  • Rotate away from summer annual crops to help manage severe infestations. This weed is not a problem in winter grains and perennial forages.
  • No-till if possible. Burcucumber seed is rather large and requires good seed-soil contact and does not establish as well in no-till management.
  • Plant early maturing corn varieties and harvest for silage to prevent seed production. Burcucumber does not generally set seed until September and ensiling will kill immature green seed.
  • Use post herbicides in corn and soybean (Table 1). This weed is easier to manage in soybean than corn, because you can see it and herbicides can be applied later in the season. Residual herbicides are important to control late emerging seedlings.
Corn HerbicideRating*
Atrazine (≥1.5 lb/A)8
Buctril8
Callisto7+
Glyphosate8+
Liberty8
Peak8+
Soybean HerbicideRating*
Classic8
Cobra8
Glyphosate8+
Liberty8
MixturesRating
Buctril+atrazine8+
Callisto + atrazine8+
Halex GT8+
Northstar8+
Spirit8+
Extreme -SB8
Flexstar GT -SB8+
Synchrony -SB8+

Authors

William S. Curran, Ph.D.