Weed Watch: Velvetleaf



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 � 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


Young Plants

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


Mature Plants

Velvetleaf can grow to 8 feet but typically ranges between 2-4 feet in soybean fields.3


Seed Pain Points

Plants produce an average of 2,000-9,000 seeds, although one plant can produce up to 17,000 seeds � 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 plant�s leaves drop to a nearly vertical position during this time, making herbicide leaf coverage not as effective.3

Keys to Managing Velvetleaf 1, 3, 4

  1. Rotate crops

    to diversify herbicide programs and weed control strategies.

  2. Start clean

    with a burndown herbicide or tillage.

  3. Apply a pre-emergence residual application,

    using a residual product within 2 weeks before planting or prior to crop emergence.

  4. Apply a postemergence application to target small weeds early,

    before weeds grow taller than 4 inches.

  5. Prevent Seed Production.

    If weeds escape, use tillage or physically remove them before plants produce seed.

The System Proven to Fight the Toughest Weeds

Tough-to-control weeds like velvetleaf can cause significant damage to your yield. See how the Roundup Ready® Xtend Crop System stacks up against competitors when controlling velvetleaf and more.
See the Comparison