CFAES Give Today
Agronomic Crops Network

Ohio State University Extension


Principles of Pokeweed Management

Preventing pokeweed berry/seed production is an important management tactic.

Penn State recently completed a two-year study on pokeweed management in corn and soybeans that provides some useful information.  Some of the highlights:

- pokeweed is a perennial that regrows from a large taproot, and individuals may live a year or two, or for several years, depending on their environment.  Harsh winters such as the last one can reduce plant survival.

- seed production and dispersal are essential for pokeweed success.  A pokeweed berry contains 9 or 10 seeds.  Pokeweed plants that emerged in May or June grew into perennial plants that first season, and produced up to about 2500 seeds.  Preventing berry/seed production is an important management tactic for this weed, much like for annual species.

- systemic postemergence corn herbicides (glyphosate, 2,4-D, dicamba, Status, Callisto + atrazine, etc) can provide at least 80% control by the end of the season.  None of the herbicides provided complete control, indicating the potential for recovery and regrowth the following year, and the need for a multi-year management approach.

- similar results occurred with postemergence soybean herbicides, but effective options were fewer. Research showed the value of Roundup Ready and glyphosate as a foundation herbicide for managing common pokeweed in soybean; the non-glyphosate treatments (Classic, Harmony, Synchrony, FirstRate, and Raptor) provided only 39 to 62% control.

- application in late June through the rest of the summer provided good control of pokeweed, while late spring application was less effective.  At least 90% control occurred when glyphosate was applied at 600 to 800 GDD (48 F base temperature) or later.  The late June and later applications coincide with pokeweed flowering, and herbicide translocation to below ground vegetative structures is probably much greater with the later applications.  

- results are summarized in a Penn State newsletter article -

Crop Observation and Recommendation Network

C.O.R.N. Newsletter is a summary of crop observations, related information, and appropriate recommendations for Ohio crop producers and industry. C.O.R.N. Newsletter is produced by the Ohio State University Extension Agronomy Team, state specialists at The Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC). C.O.R.N. Newsletter questions are directed to Extension and OARDC state specialists and associates at Ohio State.