Published online by Cambridge University Press: 26 December 2019
Herbicide applications performed with pulse width modulation (PWM) sprayers to deliver specific spray droplet sizes could maintain product efficacy, minimize potential off-target movement, and increase flexibility in field operations. Given the continuous expansion of herbicide-resistant Palmer amaranth populations across the southern and midwestern United States, efficacious and cost-effective means of application are needed to maximize Palmer amaranth control. Experiments were conducted in two locations in Mississippi (2016, 2017, and 2018) and one location in Nebraska (2016 and 2017) for a total of 7 site-years. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of a range of spray droplet sizes [150 (Fine) to 900 μm (Ultra Coarse)] on lactofen and acifluorfen efficacy for Palmer amaranth control. The results of this research indicated that spray droplet size did not influence lactofen efficacy on Palmer amaranth. Palmer amaranth control and percent dry-biomass reduction remained consistent with lactofen applied within the aforementioned droplet size range. Therefore, larger spray droplets should be used as part of a drift mitigation approach. In contrast, acifluorfen application with 300-μm (Medium) spray droplets provided the greatest Palmer amaranth control. Although percent biomass reduction was numerically greater with 300-μm (Medium) droplets, results did not differ with respect to spray droplet size, possibly as a result of initial plant injury, causing weight loss, followed by regrowth. Overall, 900-μm (Ultra Coarse) droplets could be used effectively without compromising lactofen efficacy on Palmer amaranth, and 300-μm (Medium) droplets should be used to achieve maximum Palmer amaranth control with acifluorfen.
Associate Editor: William Johnson, Purdue University