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Treatment Life and Economic Comparisons of Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and Huisache (Vachellia farnesiana) Herbicide Programs in Rangeland

  • Case R. Medlin (a1), W. Allan McGinty (a2), C. Wayne Hanselka (a3), Robert K. Lyons (a4), Megan K. Clayton (a5) and William J. Thompson (a6)...

Abstract

Herbicides have been a primary means of managing undesirable brush on grazing lands across southwestern United States for decades. Continued encroachment of honey mesquite and huisache on grazing lands warrants evaluation of treatment life and economics of current and experimental treatments. Treatment life is defined as the time between treatment application and when canopy cover of undesirable brush returns to a competitive level with native forage grasses (i.e. 25% canopy cover for mesquite and 30% canopy cover for huisache). Treatment life of industry standard herbicides was compared to aminocyclopyrachlor plus triclopyr amine (ACP+T) from ten broadcast-applied honey mesquite and five broadcast-applied huisache trials established from 2007 through 2013 across Texas. On average, the treatment life of industry standard treatments (IST) for huisache was 3 years. In comparison, huisache canopy cover was only 2.5% in ACP+T treated plots 3 years after treatment. The average treatment life of industry standard honey mesquite treatments was 8.6 years, while ACP+T treated plots had just 2% mesquite canopy cover at that time. Improved treatment life of ACP+T treatments compared to IST was due to higher mortality resulting in more consistent brush canopy reduction. The net present values of ACP+T and IST, for both huisache and mesquite, were similar until the treatment life of the IST application was reached (3 years for huisache and 8.6 years for honey mesquite). At that point, net present values of the programs diverged as a result of brush competition with desirable forage grasses and additional input costs associated with theoretical follow-up IST necessary to maintain optimum livestock forage production. The ACP+T treatments did not warrant a sequential application over the 12-year analysis for huisache or 20-year analysis for honey mesquite that this research covered. These results indicate ACP+T provides cost-effective, long-term control of honey mesquite and huisache.

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Corresponding author

Author for correspondence: Case R. Medlin, Regional Stewardship Manager, Bayer Crop Sciences LP, 5000 Centregreen Way, Suite 400, Cary, NC 27513. Current address: 101 Crossroad Court, Paradise, TX 76073. (E-mail: case.medlin@bayer.com)

Keywords

Treatment Life and Economic Comparisons of Honey Mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) and Huisache (Vachellia farnesiana) Herbicide Programs in Rangeland

  • Case R. Medlin (a1), W. Allan McGinty (a2), C. Wayne Hanselka (a3), Robert K. Lyons (a4), Megan K. Clayton (a5) and William J. Thompson (a6)...

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