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Survey of weed flora and weed management practices in Florida strawberry fields

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 April 2022

Nathan S. Boyd*
Professor, University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Wimauma, FL, USA
Laura Reuss
Biological Scientist, University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, Wimauma, FL, USA
Author for correspondence: Nathan S. Boyd, University of Florida, Gulf Coast Research and Education Center, 14625 County Road 672, Wimauma, FL 33598. (Email:


A survey of weed flora and basic weed management practices was conducted in commercial strawberry [Fragaria × ananassa (Weston) Duchesne ex Rozier ssp. ananassa] fields in central Florida during the 2019 to 2020 field season. Forty-one fields on 14 farms were surveyed, which represents a total of 907 ha or 23% of the acreage planted to strawberries in Florida. All conventional fields were fumigated, and combinations of chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene were used on 72% of the fumigated acreage. Preemergence or postemergence herbicides were used in row middles on 100% of the conventional acreage, but preemergence herbicides applied under the plastic mulch were only used on 12% of the acreage. A total of 47 weed species were identified during the survey. The five weed species with the highest frequency were goosegrass [Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.], cutleaf evening primrose (Oenothera laciniata Hill), Carolina geranium (Geranium carolinianum L.), common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.), and eclipta [Eclipta prostrata (L.) L.] which occurred in 83%, 63%, 58%, 58%, and 46% of all fields surveyed, respectively. The five species with the highest overall relative abundance were E. indica, O. lanciniata, G. carolinium, A. artemisiifolia, and Brazil pusley (Richardia brasiliensis Gomes). The frequency and distribution of E. indica is of particular concern, because populations in strawberry fields are thought to be resistant to paraquat, which is the primary herbicide used for crop termination. Weed density tended to be low overall, which suggests the integrated weed management (IWM) programs adopted by most growers are effective. Mean weed density tended to be similar on conventional and organic fields and unaffected by fumigant applied the year of the survey or the number of years strawberries had been grown consecutively in a field. Weed management research moving forward should focus on the development of IWM programs for E. indica, O. lanciniata, G. carolinium, and A. artemisiifolia.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Weed Science Society of America

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Associate Editor: William Vencill, University of Georgia


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