Once introduced to the U.S. as a source of fiber, velvetleaf is an erect summer annual that is now a problematic pest of row crops due to its highly competitive nature and allelopathic properties ï¿½ or the ability of one plant to create biochemicals that can harm the germination, growth, survival and reproduction of other plants.1
Velvetleaf is present in the 48 continental U.S. states and categorized as noxious in four of those.1,2
Reduced soybean yields of 25 to 40% with as few as 3-6 plants per square yard 3
Velvetleaf is easily identifiable by its heart-shaped leaves that grow 2-6 inches long and wide and are covered with soft hairs on both sides.1,4
Velvetleaf can grow to 8 feet but typically ranges between 2-4 feet in soybean fields.3
Plants produce an average of 2,000-9,000 seeds, although one plant can produce up to 17,000 seeds ï¿½ and seeds can persist in the soil for up to 60 years.1,5
Though populations of herbicide-resistant velvetleaf are currently minimal, continued use of just one herbicide site of action will likely lead to more examples of resistance. Controlling velvetleaf can still be difficult; when postemergence applications are made during the late evening and early morning, the plantï¿½s leaves drop to a nearly vertical position during this time, making herbicide leaf coverage not as effective.3
to diversify herbicide programs and weed control strategies.
with a burndown herbicide or tillage.
using a residual product within 2 weeks before planting or prior to crop emergence.
before weeds grow taller than 4 inches.
If weeds escape, use tillage or physically remove them before plants produce seed.
1 Bish, M., Bradley, K. University of Missouri Integrated Pest & Crop Management (May 28, 2015). Weed of the month: Velvetleaf. Retrieved from http://www.ipm.missouri.edu
2 United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (Sep. 18, 2019). Abutilon theophrasti Medik. Vetvetleaf. Retrieved from http://www.plants.usda.org
3 Take Action. United States Soybean Board (Sep. 18, 2019). Velvetleaf. Retrieved from http://www.iwilltakeaction.com
4 University of Missouri Division of Plant Sciences (Sep. 19, 2019). Weed ID Guide, Velvetleaf. Retrieved from http://www.weedid.missouri.edu
5 King County (Sep. 18, 2019). Velvetleaf identification and control. Noxious Weed Control Program. Retrieved from http://www.kingcounty.gov