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Herbicides are the primary tool for controlling weeds in peanut and are crucial to sustainable peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) production in the United States (US). The literature on chemical weed management in peanut in the past 53 years (1970 to 2022) in the US was systematically reviewed to highlight the strength and weaknesses of different herbicides and identify current research gaps in chemical weed management. Residual weed control in peanut is achieved mainly with dimethenamid-P, ethalfluralin, flumioxazin, pendimethalin, and S-metolachlor. More recently, the use of the PPO-inhibitor, and ALS-inhibitors such as diclosulam for residual weed control in peanut has increased considerably. Postemergence broadleaf weed control in peanut is achieved mainly with acifluorfen, bentazon, diclosulam, imazapic, lactofen, paraquat, and 2,4−DB, while the graminicides clethodim and sethoxydim are the major postemergence grass weed control herbicides in peanut. Although several herbicides are available for weed control in peanut, no single herbicide can provide season-long weed control due to limited application timing, lack of extended residual activity, variability in weed control spectrum, and rotational restrictions. Therefore, effective weed management in peanut often requires herbicide mixtures and/or sequential application of pre-plant incorporated, preemergence, and/or postemergence herbicides. However, the available literature showed a substantive range in herbicide efficacy due to variations in environmental conditions and flushes of weed germination across years and locations. Despite the relatively high efficacy of herbicides, the selection of herbicide-resistant weeds is another area of increasing concern. Future research should focus on developing new strategies for preventing or delaying the development of resistance and improving herbicide efficacy within the context of climate change and emerging constraints such as water shortages, temperature rise and increasing CO2 concentration.
Weed interference is a major factor that reduces peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) yield in the United States. Peanut growers rely heavily on herbicides for weed control. Although effective, herbicides are not a complete solution to the complex challenge that weeds present. Therefore, the use of nonchemical weed management options is essential. The literature on weed research in peanut in the past 53 yr in the United States was reviewed to assess the achievements and identify current research gaps and prospects for nonchemical weed management for future research. More than half (79%) of the published studies were from the southeastern United States. Most studies (88%) focused on weed management, while fewer studies (12%) addressed weed distribution, ecology, and competitive mechanisms. Broadleaf weeds were the most frequently studied weed species (60%), whereas only 23% and 19% of the published studies were relevant to grasses and Cyperus spp., respectively. Seventy-two percent of the published studies focused on curative measures using herbicides. Nonchemical methods using mechanical (5%) and preventive (13%) measures that influence crop competition and reduce the buildup of the weed seedbank, seedling recruitment, and weed seed production have received less attention. In most studies, the preventive weed management measures provided weed suppression and reduced weed competition but were not effective enough to reduce the need for herbicides to protect peanut yield. Therefore, future research should focus on developing integrated weed management strategies based on multiple preventive measures rather than one preventive measure combined with one or more curative measures. We recommend that research on mechanical weed management should focus on the role of cultivation when integrated with currently available herbicides. For successful weed management with lasting outcomes, the dominant weed communities of specific target locations should be addressed within the context of climate change and emerging constraints rather than focusing on single problematic species.
Although herbicide tolerance is not usually evaluated until the final stages of breeding programs, this trait is very important for grower adoption of new peanut cultivars. Understanding herbicide tolerance of breeding lines could help breeders develop selection strategies that maximize herbicide tolerance in new commercial cultivars. However, little is known about herbicide tolerance variability in peanut germplasm. Thirty-five randomly selected breeding lines from the peanut mini-core collection and cultivars ‘Florida-07’ and ‘Georgia-06G’ were evaluated for tolerance to 11 herbicides under greenhouse conditions. Variation among peanut lines in herbicide tolerance, measured as dry weight reductions (DWR), was similar across herbicides and was normally distributed. Florida-07 and Georgia-06G were in the lower two quartiles of injury and DWR among the evaluated peanut lines. Dose–response experiments showed that the most tolerant breeding lines had I50 (the rate required to cause 50% injury) and GR50 (the rate required to reduce dry weight 50%) values 0.4 to 2.5 times higher than the most susceptible lines, depending on the herbicide. A breeding line had a dicamba GR50 13 times higher than the most susceptible line and 2.8 and 4.7 times higher than Florida-07 and Georgia-06G, respectively. The most tolerant lines were consistently tolerant to herbicides with different mechanisms of action, suggesting that nontarget site mechanisms are more likely to be responsible for the tolerance than target-site mutations. These results confirmed peanut-breeding programs would greatly benefit from screening breeding lines for tolerance to key herbicides and developing an herbicide-tolerance catalog. This information can be used when designing new crosses to reduce the risk of developing cultivars with low herbicide tolerance especially considering that one-half of the breeding lines exhibited lower tolerance than the commercial cultivars.
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