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Evaluation of Wick-Applied Glyphosate for Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) Control in Sweetpotato

  • Stephen L. Meyers (a1), Katherine M. Jennings (a1), Jonathan R. Schultheis (a1) and David W. Monks (a1)


Studies were conducted in 2007 and 2008 at Clinton, NC to determine the effect of glyphosate applied POST via a Dixie wick applicator on Palmer amaranth control and sweetpotato yield and quality. In 2007, treatments consisted of glyphosate wicked sequentially 6 and 8 wk after transplanting (WAP) and glyphosate wicked sequentially 6 and 8 WAP followed by (fb) rotary mowing 9 WAP. In 2008, treatments consisted of glyphosate wicked once 4 or 7 WAP, wicked sequentially 4 and 7 WAP, mowed once 4 WAP, and mowed 4 WAP fb wicking 7 WAP. In 2008, Palmer amaranth control 6 WAP varied by location and averaged 10 and 58% for plots wicked 4 WAP. Palmer amaranth contacted by the wicking apparatus were controlled, but weeds shorter than the wicking height escaped treatment. Palmer amaranth control 9 WAP was greater than 90% for all treatments wicked 7 WAP. Competition prior to and between glyphosate treatments contributed to large sweetpotato yield losses. Treatments consisting of glyphosate 7 or 8 WAP (in 2007 and 2008, respectively) frequently had greater no. 1 and marketable yields compared to the weedy control. However, jumbo, no. 1, and marketable yields for all glyphosate and mowing treatments were generally less than half the hand-weeded check. Cracked sweetpotato roots were observed in glyphosate treatments and percent cracking (by weight) in those plots ranged from 1 to 12% for no. 1 roots, and 1 to 6% for marketable roots. Findings from this research suggest wicking might be useful in a salvage scenario, but only after currently registered preemergence herbicides and between-row cultivation have failed to control Palmer amaranth and other weed species below the sweetpotato canopy.


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Current address: Pontotoc Ridge-Flatwoods Branch Experiment Station, Mississippi State University, Pontotoc, MS 38863
Associate Editor for this paper: Peter Dittmar, University of Florida.



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