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Cotton and soybean growers were offered new technologies in 2016, expanding in-crop herbicide options to include dicamba or 2,4-D. Within three years of commercialization, dicamba use in these crops increased ten-fold and growers began to report Palmer amaranth escapes in dicamba-tolerant production systems in western Tennessee. In 2020, Palmer amaranth seed was collected from eight Tennessee locations where growers witnessed poor control following dicamba. Greenhouse experiments were conducted to evaluate the response of these Palmer amaranth populations to dicamba. In 2021, field experiments were conducted on two tentative dicamba-susceptible populations in Georgia, on three confirmed dicamba-resistant populations in Tennessee, and on a tentative dicamba-susceptible population in Texas to evaluate cotton response following dicamba and to examine if malathion insecticide (a cytochrome P450 inhibitor) would improve weed control and not reduce cotton yield when applied in conjunction with dicamba. Palmer amaranth populations collected in 2020 survived dicamba in the greenhouse at 1, 2, and 4 times the labeled rate. There was 15 to 26% survival exhibited by five Palmer amaranth populations to the labeled dicamba rate (560 g ha-1) in the greenhouse. These findings were reinforced in the field when research on three of those populations in 2021 showed 55% control with the labeled dicamba rate and 69% control with 2 times the labeled rate. This demonstrates the dicamba resistance allele or alleles were passed between generations. This result was not consistent in the Macon County or Worth County, GA locations where malathion improved dicamba control of 15- to 38-cm tall Palmer amaranth. Cotton injury was observed when malathion was applied in combination with dicamba. These results further document the evolution of dicamba-resistant Palmer amaranth in Tennessee. Moreover, the non-reversal of resistance phenotype by malathion may suggest that the resistance mechanism is something other than metabolism.
Protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO)-inhibiting herbicides remain an important and useful chemistry 60 yr after their first introduction. In this review, based on topics introduced at the Weed Science Society of America 2021 symposium titled “A History, Overview, and Plan of Action on PPO Inhibiting Herbicides,” we discuss the current state of PPO-inhibiting herbicides. Renewed interest in the PPO-inhibiting herbicides in recent years, due to increased use and increased cases of resistance, has led to refinements in knowledge regarding the mechanism of action of PPO inhibitors. Herein we discuss the importance of the two isoforms of PPO in plants, compile a current knowledge of target-site resistance mechanisms, examine non–target site resistance cases, and review crop selectivity mechanisms. Consistent and reproducible greenhouse screening and target-site mutation assays are necessary to effectively study and compare PPO-inhibitor resistance cases. To this end, we cover best practices in screening to accurately identify resistance ratios and properly interpret common screens for point mutations. The future of effective and sustainable PPO-inhibitor use relies on development of new chemistries that maintain activity on resistant biotypes and the promotion of responsible stewardship of PPO inhibitors both new and old. We present the biorational design of the new PPO inhibitor trifludimoxazin to highlight the future of PPO-inhibitor development and discuss the elements of sustainable weed control programs using PPO inhibitors, as well as how responsible stewardship can be incentivized. The sustained use of PPO inhibitors in future agriculture relies on the effective and timely communication from mode of action and resistance research to agronomists, Extension workers, and farmers.
Cole crops including broccoli and collard contribute more than $119 million to Georgia’s farm gate value yearly. To ensure maximum profitability, these crops must be planted into weed-free fields. Glyphosate is a tool often used to help achieve this goal because of its broad-spectrum activity on weeds coupled with the knowledge that it poses no threat to the succeeding crop when used as directed. However, recent research suggests that with certain soil textures and production systems, the residual soil activity of glyphosate may damage some crops. Therefore, field experiments were conducted in fall 2019 and 2020 to evaluate transplanted broccoli and collard response to glyphosate applied preplant onto bare soil and what practical mitigation measures could be implemented to reduce crop injury. Herbicide treatments consisted oGf 0, 2.5, or 5 kg ae ha−1 glyphosate applied preplant followed by 1) no mitigation measure, 2) tillage, 3) irrigation, or 4) tillage and irrigation prior to transplanting broccoli and collard by hand. When no mitigation was implemented, the residual activity of glyphosate at 2.5 and 5.0 kg ae ha−1 resulted in 43% to 71% and 79% to 93% injury to broccoli and collard transplants, respectively. This resulted in a 35% to 50% reduction in broccoli marketable head weights and 63% to 71% reduction in collard leaf weights. Irrigation reduced visible damage by 28% to 48%, whereas tillage reduced injury by 43% to 76%, for both crops. Irrigation alleviated yield losses for broccoli but only tillage eliminated yield loss for both crops. Care must be taken when transplanting broccoli and collard into a field recently treated with glyphosate at rates ≥2.5 kg ae ha−1. Its residual activity can damage transplants with injury levels influenced by glyphosate rate, and tillage or irrigation after application and prior to planting.
Herbicide resistance has been studied extensively in agronomic crops across North America but is rarely examined in vegetables. It is widely assumed that the limited number of registered herbicides combined with the adoption of diverse weed management strategies in most vegetable crops effectively inhibits the development of resistance. It is difficult to determine whether resistance is truly less common in vegetable crops or whether the lack of reported cases is due to the lack of resources focused on detection. This review highlights incidences of resistance that are thought to have arisen within vegetable crops. It also includes situations in which herbicide-resistant weeds were likely selected for within agronomic crops but became a problem when vegetables were grown in sequence or in adjacent fields. Occurrence of herbicide resistance can have severe consequences for vegetable growers, and resistance management plans should be adopted to limit selection pressure. This review also highlights resistance management techniques that should slow the development and spread of herbicide resistance in vegetable crops.
The tolerance of cereal rye to eight herbicides registered for use in wheat, at two rates, was evaluated for potential labeling in cereal rye to expand limited chemical weed control options. Across five site-years, halauxifen-methyl + florasulam, pyroxsulam, and thifensulfuron-methyl + tribenuron-methyl applied at a 2X rate to cereal rye at Zadoks (Z) 13 caused less than 15% injury and had no impact on cereal rye density. These herbicides at the 2X rate reduced cereal rye heights 11% at 10 days after treatment (DAT), with rye recovering by 31 DAT; cereal rye heights were not reduced with these herbicides at their 1X rate. In contrast, significant injury was observed with the 1X rate of mesosulfuron-methyl (45%), pinoxaden (27%), and pinoxaden + fenoxaprop-P-ethyl (30%) applied postemergence; early-season height was reduced 19% to 26%. Residual herbicide pyroxasulfone applied as a delayed preemergence at Z 10 and flumioxazin + pyroxasulfone applied at Z 11 caused 27% to 28% and 16% to 47% injury, respectively, when the 1X rate was activated by rainfall within 2 d of application. These residual herbicides reduced cereal rye height and density up to 35% and 40%, respectively. Cereal rye grain yield was not influenced by herbicide or rate applied.
Georgia vegetable growers produce more than 27% of the nation’s fresh-market cucumbers. To maximize yields and profit, fields must be weed-free when planting. Limitations with current burndown herbicide options motivated academic, industry, and U.S. Department of Agriculture partners to search for new tools to assist growers. One possibility, glufosinate, controls many common and troublesome weeds, but its influence on cucumber development through residual activity when applied before or at planting is not understood. Thus, four different studies were each conducted two to four times from 2017 to 2020 to determine 1) transplant cucumber response to preplant glufosinate applications as influenced by rate, overhead irrigation, and interval between application and planting; and 2) seeded cucumber response to preemergence (PRE) glufosinate applications as influenced by rate, overhead irrigation, and planting depth. Glufosinate applied at 330, 660, 980, and 1,640 g ai ha−1 the day before transplanting caused 11% to 53% injury on sandy, low organic matter soils. Cucumber vine lengths and plant biomass were reduced up to 28% and 46%, respectively, with the three highest rates. Early-season yield (harvests 1 to 4) noted a 31% to 60% yield loss with glufosinate at 660 to 1,640 g ha−1 with similar trends observed with total yield (11 to 13 harvests). Irrigation (0.75 cm) after application and before transplanting reduced injury to less than 21%, eliminated vine length and biomass suppression except at the highest rate, and eliminated yield loss. Extending the interval between glufosinate application and transplanting from 1 to 4 d was not beneficial, and further extending the interval to 7 d significantly reduced injury half the time. When applied PRE to seeded cucumber and combining the data across locations, glufosinate caused less than 7% injury even at 1,640 g ha−1. Seeded plant vine lengths, biomass, and marketable yield were not influenced by the PRE application, and neither irrigation nor planting depth influenced seeded crop response to glufosinate.
Glyphosate and paraquat are effective preplant burndown herbicide options for multicrop vegetable production that uses plastic mulch, but problematic weeds such as wild radish, cutleaf evening primrose, annual morningglory, or horseweed may not be adequately controlled with these herbicides alone. The herbicides 2,4-D and dicamba could help control these troublesome weeds prior to planting if they can be removed from plastic mulch and thus avoid crop damage. Treatments included 2,4-D (1,065 and 2,130 g ae ha−1) and dicamba (560 and 1,120 g ae ha−1) applied broadcast over plastic mulch a day before transplanting. Just before transplanting, treatments received either 0.76 cm of water via overhead irrigation or no irrigation. Plastic mulch samples were collected at application and planting to determine herbicide presence using analytical techniques, and cantaloupe and zucchini squash were subsequently transplanted on the plastic beds. Analytical ultra-high performance liquid chromatography revealed that 88% to 99% of the initial herbicide concentration was present at crop planting when irrigation was not implemented. At most, a 1/50 rate of dicamba and a 1/500 rate of 2,4-D was present at planting when overhead irrigation was applied prior to transplanting. Maximum cantaloupe and squash injury from 2,4-D with irrigation was 10% and did not influence plant growth, biomass, or yield. For dicamba with overhead irrigation, cantaloupe injury was 35%, vine lengths were reduced by 24%, and maturity was delayed, whereas squash injury ranged from 9% to 12%, with no influence on growth or yield. Without irrigation to wash herbicides from the mulch prior to planting, 60% to 100% injury of both crops occurred with both herbicides. Zucchini squash was more tolerant to dicamba than cantaloupe. Results demonstrated that 2,4-D can be adequately removed from the surface of plastic mulch with irrigation, whereas a single irrigation event was not sufficient to remove dicamba.
Since the commercialization of herbicide-resistant (HR) crops, primarily glyphosate-resistant crops, their adoption has increased rapidly. Multiple herbicide resistance traits in crops such as canola (Brassica napus L.), corn (Zea mays L.), cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.), and soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] have become available in recent years, and management of their volunteers needs attention to prevent interference and yield loss in rotational crops. The objectives of this review were to summarize HR crop traits in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), canola, corn, cotton, rice (Oryza sativa L.), soybean, sugarbeet (Beta vulgaris L.), and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.); assess their potential for volunteerism; and review existing literature on the interference of HR crop volunteers, yield loss, and their management in rotational crops. HR crop volunteers are problem weeds in agronomic cropping systems, and the impact of volunteerism depends on several factors, such as crop grown in rotation, the density of volunteers, management practices, and microclimate. Interference of imidazolinone-resistant (IR) barley or wheat volunteers can be a problem in rotational crops, particularly when IR crops such as canola or wheat are grown. HR canola volunteers are abundant in the Northern Great Plains due to high fecundity, seed loss before or during harvest, and secondary seed dormancy, and they can interfere in crops grown in rotation such as flax (Linum usitatissimum L.), field peas (Pisum sativum L.), and soybean. HR corn volunteers are competitive in crops grown in rotation such as corn, cotton, soybean, and sugarbeet, with yield loss depending on the density of HR corn volunteers. Volunteers of HR cotton, rice, soybean, and sugarbeet are not major concerns and can be controlled with existing herbicides. Herbicide options would be limited if the crop volunteers are multiple HR; therefore, recording the cultivar planted the previous year and selecting the appropriate herbicide are important. The increasing use of 2,4-D, dicamba, glufosinate, and glyphosate in North American cropping systems requires research on herbicide interactions and alternative herbicides or methods for controlling multiple HR crop volunteers.
The loss of methyl bromide led vegetable growers to rely more heavily on herbicides to control weeds. Although herbicides can be effective, limited options in vegetable production challenge growers. Identifying new, effective tools to be applied over plastic mulch before planting, for improved weed control with minimal crop injury, would be beneficial. The objective of these experiments was to evaluate the persistence of preplant applications of glyphosate (1,125 or 2,250 g ae ha−1) plus 2,4-D (1,065 or 2,130 g ae ha−1) or dicamba (560 g ae ha−1) over plastic mulch, using analytical techniques and subsequent yellow squash and watermelon response. Glyphosate and 2,4-D were not analytically detected at damaging concentrations on plastic mulch when at least 3.5 cm of rainfall was received after application and before planting. In addition, bioassay results showing less than 10% visual injury for either squash and watermelon, with no growth or yield suppression observed, supported analytical results. In contrast, dicamba concentrations on plastic mulch, regardless of rainfall amount or time between application and planting, remained at damaging levels. Squash yields were reduced by dicamba applied 1 to 30 d before planting, whereas watermelon was more resilient. 2,4-D plus glyphosate applied preplant over plastic mulch can provide an additional herbicide option for vegetable growers. More research is needed to understand the impact of residual activity of 2,4-D when transplants land directly in holes in plastic mulch at the time of application. The relationship of dicamba with plastic mulch is complex, because the herbicide cannot be easily removed by rainfall. Thus, dicamba should not be included in a weed management system in plasticulture vegetable production.
Agronomic crops engineered with resistance to 2,4-D or dicamba have been commercialized and widely adopted throughout the United States. Because of this, increased use of these herbicides in time and space has increased damage to sensitive crops. From 2014 to 2016, cucumber and cantaloupe studies were conducted in Tifton, GA, to demonstrate how auxinic herbicides (namely, 2,4-D or dicamba), herbicide rate (1/75 or 1/250 field use), and application timing (26, 16, and 7 d before harvest [DBH] of cucumber; 54, 31, and 18 DBH of cantaloupe) influenced crop injury, growth, yield, and herbicide residue accumulation in marketable fruit. Greater visual injury, reductions in vine growth, and yield loss were observed at higher rates when herbicides were applied during early-season vegetative growth compared with late-season with fruit development. Dicamba was more injurious in cucumber, whereas cantaloupe responded similarly to both herbicides. For cucumber, total fruit number and relative weights were reduced (16% to 19%) when either herbicide was applied at the 1/75 rate 26 DBH. Cantaloupe fruit weight was also reduced 21% and 10% when either herbicide was applied at the 1/75 rate 54 or 31 DBH, respectively. Residue analysis noted applications made closer to harvest were more likely to be detectable in fruit than earlier applications. In cucumber, dicamba was detected at both rates when applied 7 DBH, whereas in cantaloupe, it was detected at both rates when applied 18 or 31 DBH in 2016 and at the 1/75 rate applied 18 or 31 DBH in 2014. Detectable amounts of 2,4-D were not observed in cucumber but were detected in cantaloupe when applied at either rate 18 or 31 DBH. Although early-season injury will more likely reduce cucumber or cantaloupe yields, the quantity of herbicide residue detected will be most influenced by the time interval between the off-target incident and sampling.
Dicamba and 2,4-D systems control many problematic weeds; however, drift to susceptible crops can be a concern in diverse production areas. Glufosinate-based systems are an alternative, but current recommended rates of glufosinate can result in variable control. Research was conducted in 2017 and 2018 to investigate the optimum time interval between sequential glufosinate applications and determine if the addition of glyphosate with glufosinate is beneficial for controlling Palmer amaranth and annual grasses in cotton. The interval between sequential applications (1, 3, 5, 7, 10, or 14 d or no second spray) was the whole plot and herbicide option (glufosinate or glufosinate plus glyphosate) was the subplot. Combined over herbicides, Palmer amaranth 15- to 20-cm tall (at four locations) was controlled 98% to 99% with sequential intervals of 1 to 7 d compared with 70% to 88% with intervals of 10 or 14 d. Lowest biomass weight and population densities were noted with 1- to 7-d intervals. Large crabgrass 15- to 20-cm tall (at five locations) was controlled 93% to 98% with glufosinate applications 3- to 7-d apart as compared with 76% to 81% with applications 10- to 14-d apart. Lowest biomass weights were observed with 1- to 7-d intervals. When glufosinate controlled grass less than 93%, adding glyphosate was beneficial. Neither interval between sequential applications nor herbicide option influenced cotton yield. Shorter time intervals between sequential application and including glyphosate can improve the effectiveness of a glufosinate-based system in managing Palmer amaranth and large crabgrass.
Nutsedge species are problematic in plastic-mulched vegetable production because of the weed’s rapid reproduction and ability to penetrate the mulch. Vegetable growers rely heavily on halosulfuron to manage nutsedge species; however, the herbicide cannot be applied over mulch before vegetable transplanting due to potential crop injury. This can be problematic when multiple crops are produced on a single mulch installation. Field experiments were conducted to determine the response of broccoli, cabbage, squash, and watermelon to halosulfuron applied on top of mulch prior to transplanting. Halosulfuron at 80 g ai ha−1 was applied 21, 14, 7, and 1 d before planting (DBP), and 160 g ai ha−1 was applied 21 DBP. In all experiments, extending the interval between halosulfuron application and planting reduced crop injury. For squash and watermelon, visual injury, plant diameters/vine runner lengths, marketable fruit weights, and postharvest plant biomass resulted in similar values when applying 80 g ha−1 21 DBP and with the nontreated weed-free control. Reducing this interval increased injury for both crops. Visual crop injury and yield reductions up to 40% occurred, with halosulfuron applied 14, 7, or 1 DBP in squash and 1 DBP in watermelon. Broccoli and cabbage showed greater sensitivity, with injury and plant diameter reductions greater than 15%, even with halosulfuron applied at 80 g ha−1 21 DBP. Experimental results confirm that halosulfuron binds to plastic mulch, remains active, and is slowly released from the mulch over a substantial period, during rainfall or overhead irrigation events. Extending the plant-back interval to at least 21 d before transplanting did overcome squash and watermelon injury concerns with halosulfuron at 80 g ha−1, but not broccoli and cabbage. Applying halosulfuron over mulch to control emerged nutsedge before planting squash and watermelon would be beneficial if adequate rainfall or irrigation and appropriate intervals between application and planting are implemented.
Application timing and environmental factors reportedly influence the efficacy of auxinic herbicides. In resistance-prone weed species such as Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson), efficacy of auxinic herbicides recently adopted for use in resistant crops is of utmost importance to reduce selection pressure for herbicide-resistance traits. Growth chamber experiments were conducted comparing the interaction of different environmental effects with application time to determine the influence of these factors on visible phytotoxicity and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) formation in A. palmeri. Temperature displayed a high degree of influence on 2,4-D and dicamba efficacy in general, with applications at the low-temperature treatment (31/20 C day/night) resulting in an increase in phytotoxicity compared with high-temperature treatments (41/30 C day/night). Application time across temperature treatments significantly affected 2,4-D–induced phytotoxicity, resulting in a ≥30% increase across rates with treatments at 4:00 PM compared with 8:00 AM. Temperature differential had a significant influence on dicamba efficacy based on visible phytotoxicity data, with a ≥46% increase with a high (37/20 C day/night) compared with a low differential (41/30 C day/night). Concentration of H2O2 in herbicide-treated plants was 34% higher under a high temperature differential compared with the low differential. Humidity treatments and application time interactions displayed undetected or inconsistent effects on visible phytotoxicity and H2O2 production. Overall, temperature-related influences seem to have the largest environmental effect on auxinic herbicides within conditions evaluated in this study. Leaf concentration of H2O2 appears to be generally correlated with phytotoxicity, providing a potentially useful tool in determining efficacy of auxinic herbicides in field settings.
Six on-farm studies determined the effects of a rolled rye cover crop, herbicide program, and planting technique on cotton stand, weed control, and cotton yield in Georgia. Treatments included: (1) rye drilled broadcast with 19-cm row spacing and a broadcast-herbicide program (2) rye drilled with a 25-cm rye-free zone in the cotton row and a broadcast-herbicide program (3) rye drilled with a 25-cm rye-free zone in the cotton row with PPI and PRE herbicides banded in the cotton planting row, and (4) no cover crop (i.e., weedy cover) with broadcast herbicides. At two locations, cotton stand was lowest with rye drilled broadcast; at these sites the rye-free zone maximized stand equal to the no-cover system. At a third location, cover crop systems resulted in greater stand, due to enhanced soil moisture preservation compared with the no-cover system. Treatments did not influence cotton stand at the other three locations and did not differ in the control of weeds other than Palmer amaranth at any location. Treatments controlled Palmer amaranth equally at three locations; however, differences were observed at the three locations having the greatest glyphosate-resistant plant densities. For these locations, when broadcasting herbicides, Palmer amaranth populations were reduced 82% to 86% in the broadcast rye and rye-free zone systems compared with the no-cover system at harvest. The system with banded herbicides was nearly 21 times less effective than the similar system broadcasting herbicides. At these locations, yields in the rye broadcast and rye-free zone systems with broadcast herbicides were increased 9% to 16% compared with systems with no cover or a rye-free zone with PPI and PRE herbicides banded. A rolled rye cover crop can lessen weed emergence and selection pressure while improving weed control and cotton yield, but herbicides should be broadcast in fields heavily infested with glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth.
Field research was conducted in 2012 and 2013 in Georgia, New York, and North Carolina to evaluate the effect of trifluralin PPI on turnip root production. Treatments included trifluralin PPI at 0, 0.42, 0.56, 0.84, 1.12, 1.68, 2.24, and 3.36 kg ai ha−1. Aboveground injury to turnip varied by location and increased from 0% to 85% as trifluralin rate increased from 0.42 to 3.36 kg ha−1. Trifluralin at 0.42 to 0.84 kg ha−1 caused ≤7% injury, except at Clayton, NC, and Freeville, NY, where injury ≤32%. Trifluralin at 0.42 to 0.84 kg ha−1 reduced turnip root yield ≤11% at all locations, except Clinton, NC, where yield was reduced 29% and 43% by 0.56 and 0.84 kg ha−1, respectively. Turnip roots were not injured internally by trifluralin. Our research results suggest that up to 0.84 kg ha−1 trifluralin PPI is safe to use in turnip roots.
Seven half-day regional listening sessions were held between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide-resistance management. The objective of the listening sessions was to connect with stakeholders and hear their challenges and recommendations for addressing herbicide resistance. The coordinating team hired Strategic Conservation Solutions, LLC, to facilitate all the sessions. They and the coordinating team used in-person meetings, teleconferences, and email to communicate and coordinate the activities leading up to each regional listening session. The agenda was the same across all sessions and included small-group discussions followed by reporting to the full group for discussion. The planning process was the same across all the sessions, although the selection of venue, time of day, and stakeholder participants differed to accommodate the differences among regions. The listening-session format required a great deal of work and flexibility on the part of the coordinating team and regional coordinators. Overall, the participant evaluations from the sessions were positive, with participants expressing appreciation that they were asked for their thoughts on the subject of herbicide resistance. This paper details the methods and processes used to conduct these regional listening sessions and provides an assessment of the strengths and limitations of those processes.
Herbicide resistance is ‘wicked’ in nature; therefore, results of the many educational efforts to encourage diversification of weed control practices in the United States have been mixed. It is clear that we do not sufficiently understand the totality of the grassroots obstacles, concerns, challenges, and specific solutions needed for varied crop production systems. Weed management issues and solutions vary with such variables as management styles, regions, cropping systems, and available or affordable technologies. Therefore, to help the weed science community better understand the needs and ideas of those directly dealing with herbicide resistance, seven half-day regional listening sessions were held across the United States between December 2016 and April 2017 with groups of diverse stakeholders on the issues and potential solutions for herbicide resistance management. The major goals of the sessions were to gain an understanding of stakeholders and their goals and concerns related to herbicide resistance management, to become familiar with regional differences, and to identify decision maker needs to address herbicide resistance. The messages shared by listening-session participants could be summarized by six themes: we need new herbicides; there is no need for more regulation; there is a need for more education, especially for others who were not present; diversity is hard; the agricultural economy makes it difficult to make changes; and we are aware of herbicide resistance but are managing it. The authors concluded that more work is needed to bring a community-wide, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the complexity of managing weeds within the context of the whole farm operation and for communicating the need to address herbicide resistance.
The commercial release of crops with engineered resistance to 2,4-D and dicamba will alter the spatial and temporal use of these herbicides. This, in turn, has elicited concerns about off-target injury to sensitive crops. In 2014 and 2015, studies were conducted in Tifton, GA, to describe how herbicide (2,4-D and dicamba), herbicide rate (1/75 and 1/250 field use), and application timing (20, 40, and 60 DAP) influence watermelon injury, vine development, yield, and the accumulation of herbicide residues in marketable fruit. In general, greater visual injury and reductions in vine growth, relative to the non-treated check, were observed when herbicide applications were made before watermelon plants had begun to flower. Although the main effects of herbicide and rate were less influential than the timing of applications with respect to plant development, the 1/75 rates were more injurious than the 1/250 rates; dicamba was more injurious than 2,4-D. In 2014, the 1/75 and 1/250 rates of each herbicide reduced marketable fruit numbers 13 to 20%, but only for the 20 DAP application. The 1/75 rate of each herbicide when applied at either 20 or 40 DAP reduced the number of fruit harvested per plot in 2015. Dicamba residues were detected in marketable fruit when the 1/75 rate in 2014 and 2015 and the 1/250 rate in 2015 was applied to plants at 40 or 60 DAP. Residues of 2,4-D were detected in 2015 when the 1/75 and 1/250 rates were applied at 60 DAP. Across both years, the maximum level of residue detected was 0.030 ppm. While early season injury may reduce watermelon yields, herbicide residue detection is more likely in marketable fruit when an off-target contact incident occurs closer to harvest.
Bell pepper producers are faced with the challenge of controlling weeds following the phase-out of methyl bromide (MBr). Numerous attempts have been made to find a single fumigant or herbicide to control a broad spectrum of weeds. Adequate weed control in bell pepper will likely require weed management systems utilizing both fumigant and herbicide options. A weed management system including the fumigant dimethyl disulfide (DMDS) plus chloropicrin (Pic) plus the herbicide napropamide prior to transplant followed by S-metolachlor POST may be necessary to replace MBr. Field experiments were conducted during 2010 and 2011 near Ty Ty, Georgia to determine bell pepper and weed response to DMDS plus Pic or in systems with napropamide and/or S-metolachlor. Bell pepper were not significantly injured by DMDS plus Pic or napropamide. Injury caused by S-metolachlor was transient and plants fully recovered by 4 weeks after treatment (WAT). Yellow nutsedge control 6 WAT using DMDS plus Pic applied at 468 or 560 L ha−1 controlled yellow nutsedge 91 to 95%. Large crabgrass control 6 WAT was 92 to 100% when DMDS plus Pic was applied at 468 or 560 L ha−1 with or without a(n) herbicide (S-metolachlor or napropamide). Palmer Amaranth control prior to harvest was 21, 64, and 85% using DMDS plus Pic at 374, 468, or 560 L ha−1, respectively. DMDS plus Pic applied at 468 or 560 L ha-1 with napropamide followed by S-metolachlor POST gave 95 to 99% control of Palmer amaranth 6 WAT. Consistent weed control and optimum yields were obtained when DMDS plus Pic was used at 468 L ha−1 plus napropamide beneath plastic mulch followed by S-metolachlor POST.
Vegetable injury and yield loss has occurred when applying halosulfuron to low-density polyethylene mulch (LDPE) prior to transplanting. Research determined vegetable crop response to halosulfuron applied over LDPE mulch from 1 to 28 d prior to transplanting using (1) temperature effects in aqueous solution in laboratory experiments, (2) analytical evaluation of degradation from LDPE under field conditions, and (3) a field bioassay. Halosulfuron stability was evaluated on a thermal gradient table for temperatures at 10 to 42 C for 15 d. Half-life was inversely related to temperatures ranging from 38.5 d at 20 C to 3.2 d at 42 C, with little to no degradation at temperatures of 11 and 15 C. Analytical data indicated that the field half-life of halosulfuron at 26 or 52 g ha−1 applied to LDPE mulch under dry conditions was 2.6 and 2.8 d, respectively. Given the changes in the microclimate effects at the mulch surface by absorption of solar radiation, daily thermal energy quantified halosulfuron degradation (at the same rates) to be 51 and 55 MJ m−2, respectively. At 21 d after treatment (DAT), 90% of halosulfuron had dissipated from the mulch, with none detectable 35 DAT under dry conditions. When watermelon or yellow crookneck squash was transplanted into mulch previously treated with halosulfuron at 79 g ha−1, plant growth and development were equal to nontreated controls as long as there was a 14 d prior to transplant (DPT) interval accompanied by 13.5 cm of rain, or a 17 DPT interval accompanied by 6.2 cm of rain. However, at 79 g ha−1 applied at 9 or 1 DPT in 2013, and 1 DPT in 2014, halosulfuron injured yellow squash and reduced yield and fruit number. Halosulfuron at 79 g ha−1 applied 1 DPT significantly reduced watermelon yield in 2013, which was confirmed by vine length and plant biomass reductions in 2014. Halosulfuron POST controls Cyperus spp. in mulch vegetable production, but time and rainfall are required for dissipation to occur in order to prevent injury and yield loss.