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Field studies were conducted in commercial muscadine vineyards in western North Carolina in 2018 and eastern North Carolina in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to determine tolerance of younger (< 9 yr) and older (≥ 9 yr) bearing muscadine grapevines to 2,4-D directed beneath the crop postemergence (POST). Treatments included 2,4-D choline at 0, 0.53, 1.06, 1.60, and 2.13 kg ae ha−1 applied as a single treatment in May or June (spring) at immediate pre-bloom, and sequential treatments at 0.53 followed by (fb) 0.53, 1.06 fb 1.06, 1.6 fb 1.6, or 2.13 fb 2.13 kg ha−1. The first sequential treatment was applied in spring fb another application of the same amount in July (summer) at pre-veraison. No differences in injury on muscadine grapevines were observed from 2,4-D treatments. Differences among treatments were not observed for yield of younger vines. However, for older vines, a difference due to 2,4-D rate was observed in 2018, when yield was higher when 2,4-D was applied at 1.6 kg ha−1 compared with nontreated grapevines, and when 2,4-D was applied at 0.53 and 2.13 kg ha−1. A rate-by-timing interaction was observed in 2019 when yield was lower from 0.53 kg ha−1 2,4-D summer application compared with all other summer treatments but similar to the nontreated. However, no biological pattern was observed from either of these differences. No differences among treatments were observed for fruit pH, titratable acidity, or soluble solid content of either younger or older vines.
Field studies were conducted to assess the efficacy of physical weed management of Palmer amaranth management in cucumber, peanut, and sweetpotato. Treatments were arranged in a 3 × 4 factorial in which the first factor included a treatment method of electrical, mechanical, or hand-roguing Palmer amaranth control and the second factor consisted of treatments applied when Palmer amaranth was approximately 0.3, 0.6, 0.9, or 1.2 m above the crop canopy. Four wk after treatment (WAT), the electrical applications controlled Palmer amaranth at least 27 percentage points more than the mechanical applications when applied at the 0.3- and 0.6-m timings. At the 0.9- and 1.2-m application timings 4 WAT, electrical and mechanical applications controlled Palmer amaranth by at most 87%. Though hand removal generally resulted in the greatest peanut pod count and total sweetpotato yield, mechanical and electrical control resulted in similar yield to the hand-rogued plots, depending on the treatment timing. With additional research to provide insight into the optimal applications, there is potential for electrical control and mechanical control to be used as alternatives to hand removal. Additional studies were conducted to determine the effects of electrical treatments on Palmer amaranth seed production and viability. Treatments consisted of electricity applied to Palmer amaranth at first visible inflorescence, 2 wk after first visible inflorescence (WAI) or 4 WAI. Treatments at varying reproductive maturities did not reduce the seed production immediately after treatment. However, after treatment, plants primarily died and ceased maturation, reducing seed production assessed at 4 WAI by 93% and 70% when treated at 0 and 2 WAI, respectively. Treatments did not have a negative effect on germination or seedling length.
Field studies were conducted on southern highbush blueberry in Elizabethtown and Rocky Point, NC, in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to determine tolerance to 2,4-D choline as a postemergence-directed application. In separate trials for younger and older bearing blueberry bushes, both 2,4-D choline rates and application timing were evaluated. Treatments included 2,4-D choline at 0, 0.53, 1.06, 1.60, and 2.13 kg ae ha–1 applied alone in winter during dormancy, and sequential treatments at 0.53 kg ae ha–1 followed by (fb) 0.53, 1.06 fb 1.06, 1.6 fb 1.6, or 2.13 fb 2.13 kg ae ha–1. The first application of the sequential treatments was applied in winter followed by another application in spring during early green fruit. Injury to blueberry from 2,4-D choline treatments was not observed for either maturity stage, and fruit yield was not affected by any of the treatments. Differences among treatments were not observed for fruit soluble solid content (SSC) in older bushes, or for fruit pH, SSC, and titratable acidity (TA) in younger bushes. In older bushes, fruit pH and TA had rate-by-timing interactions, and TA had a farm-year interaction with differences at Rocky Point in 2019 and Elizabethtown in 2020, but biologically no pattern was observed from the treatments.
Field studies in strawberry grown on polyethylene-mulched raised beds were conducted from 2018 to 2019 and 2019 to 2020 in Clayton, NC, to determine ‘Camarosa’ and ‘Chandler’ strawberry tolerance to 2,4-D directed to the row middle between beds. Treatments included 2,4-D at 0, 0.53, 1.06, 1.60, and 2.13 kg ae ha−1 applied alone and sequential treatments (0.53 followed by [fb] 0.53 or 1.06 fb 1.06 kg ae ha−1). Initial treatments were applied in winter (December 2018 or January 2020) during vegetative growth, and sequential applications were applied in spring (April 2019 or March 2020) during reproductive growth. No differences among treatments were observed for visual foliage injury, strawberry crop canopy, fruit yield, and fruit quality (pH, titratable acidity, and soluble solid content).
Field studies were conducted in North Carolina in 2018 and 2019 to determine sweetpotato tolerance to indaziflam and its effectiveness in controlling Palmer amaranth in sweetpotato. Treatments included indaziflam pre-transplant; 7 d after transplanting (DATr) or 14 DATr at 29, 44, 58, or 73 g ai ha−1; and checks (weedy and weed-free). Indaziflam applied postemergence caused transient foliar injury to sweetpotato. Indaziflam pretransplant caused less injury to sweetpotato than other application timings regardless of rate. Palmer amaranth control was greatest when indaziflam was applied pretransplant or 7 DATr. In a weed-free environment, sweetpotato marketable yield decreased as indaziflam application was delayed. No differences in storage root length to width ratio were observed.
The utilization of remote sensing in agriculture has great potential to change the methods of field scouting for weeds. Previous remote sensing research has been focused on the ability to detect and differentiate between species. However, these studies have not addressed weed density variability throughout a field. Furthermore, the impact of changing phenology of crops and weeds within and between growing seasons has not been investigated. To address these research gaps, field studies were conducted in 2016 and 2017 at the Horticultural Crops Research Station near Clinton, NC. Two problematic weed species, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) and large crabgrass [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.], were planted at four densities in soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Additionally, these weed densities were grown in the presence and absence of the crop to determine the influence of crop presence on the detection and discrimination of weed species and density. Hyperspectral data were collected over various phenological time points in each year. Differentiation between plant species and weed density was not consistent across cropping systems, phenology, or season. Weed species were distinguishable across more spectra when no soybean was present. In 2016, weed species were not distinguishable, while in 2017, differentiation occurred at 4 wk after planting (WAP) and 15 WAP when weeds were present with soybean. When soybean was not present, differentiation occurred only at 5 WAP in 2016 and at 3 WAP through 15 WAP in 2017. Differentiation between weed densities did occur in both years with and without soybean present, but weed density could be differentiated across more spectra when soybean was not present. This study demonstrates that weed and crop reflectance is dynamic throughout the season and that spectral reflectance can be affected by weed species and density.
Laboratory and greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate the effects of chemical treatments applied to Palmer amaranth seeds or gynoecious plants that retain seeds to determine seed germination and quality. Treatments applied to physiologically mature Palmer amaranth seed included acifluorfen, dicamba, ethephon, flumioxazin, fomesafen, halosulfuron, linuron, metribuzin, oryzalin, pendimethalin, pyroxasulfone, S-metolachlor, saflufenacil, trifluralin, and 2,4-D plus crop oil concentrate applied at 1× and 2× the suggested use rates from the manufacturer. Germination was reduced by 20% when 2,4-D was used, 15% when dicamba was used, and 13% when halosulfuron and pyroxasulfone were used. Use of dicamba, ethephon, halosulfuron, oryzalin, trifluralin, and 2,4-D resulted in decreased seedling length by an average of at least 50%. Due to the observed effect of dicamba, ethephon, halosulfuron, oryzalin, trifluralin, and 2,4-D, these treatments were applied to gynoecious Palmer amaranth inflorescence at the 2× registered application rates to evaluate their effects on progeny seed. Dicamba use resulted in a 24% decrease in seed germination, whereas all other treatment results were similar to those of the control. Crush tests showed that seed viability was greater than 95%, thus dicamba did not have a strong effect on seed viability. No treatments applied to Palmer amaranth inflorescence affected average seedling length; therefore, chemical treatments did not affect the quality of seeds that germinated.
Field studies were conducted to evaluate linuron for POST control of Palmer amaranth in sweetpotato to minimize reliance on protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO)-inhibiting herbicides. Treatments were arranged in a two by four factorial in which the first factor consisted of two rates of linuron (420 and 700 g ai ha−1), and the second factor consisted of linuron applied alone or in combinations of linuron plus a nonionic surfactant (NIS; 0.5% vol/vol), linuron plus S-metolachlor (800 g ai ha−1), or linuron plus NIS plus S-metolachlor. In addition, S-metolachlor alone and nontreated weedy and weed-free checks were included for comparison. Treatments were applied to ‘Covington’ sweetpotato 8 d after transplanting (DAP). S-metolachlor alone provided poor Palmer amaranth control because emergence had occurred at applications. All treatments that included linuron resulted in at least 98% and 91% Palmer amaranth control 1 and 2 wk after treatment (WAT), respectively. Including NIS with linuron did not increase Palmer amaranth control compared to linuron alone, but it resulted in greater sweetpotato injury and subsequently decreased total sweetpotato yield by 25%. Including S-metolachlor with linuron resulted in the greatest Palmer amaranth control 4 WAT, but increased crop foliar injury to 36% 1 WAT compared to 17% foliar injury from linuron alone. Marketable and total sweetpotato yields were similar between linuron alone and linuron plus S-metolachlor or S-metolachlor plus NIS treatments, though all treatments resulted in at least 39% less total yield than the weed-free check resulting from herbicide injury and/or Palmer amaranth competition. Because of the excellent POST Palmer amaranth control from linuron 1 WAT, a system that includes linuron applied 7 DAP followed by S-metolachlor applied 14 DAP could help to extend residual Palmer amaranth control further into the critical period of weed control while minimizing sweetpotato injury.
Field studies were conducted in 2019 and 2020 to compare the effects of shade cloth light interception and Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) competition on ‘Covington’ sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.]. Treatments consisted of a seven by two factorial arrangement, in which the first factor included shade cloth with an average measured light interception of 41%, 59%, 76%, and 94% and A. palmeri thinned to 0.6 or 3.1 plants m−2 or a nontreated weed-free check; and the second factor included shade cloth or A. palmeri removal timing at 6 or 10 wk after planting (WAP). Amaranthus palmeri light interception peaked around 710 to 840 growing degree days (base 10 C) (6 to 7 WAP) with a maximum light interception of 67% and 84% for the 0.6 and 3.1 plants m−2 densities, respectively. Increasing shade cloth light interception by 1% linearly increased yield loss by 1% for No. 1, jumbo, and total yield. Yield loss increased by 36%, 23%, and 35% as shade cloth removal was delayed from 6 to 10 WAP for No. 1, jumbo, and total yield, respectively. F-tests comparing reduced versus full models of yield loss provided no evidence that the presence of yield loss from A. palmeri light interception caused yield loss different than that explained by the shade cloth at similar light-interception levels. Results indicate that shade cloth structures could be used to simulate Covington sweetpotato yield loss from A. palmeri competition, and light interception could be used as a predictor for expected yield loss from A. palmeri competition.
The effect of plant phenology and canopy structure of four crops and four weed species on reflectance spectra were evaluated in 2016 and 2017 using in situ spectroscopy. Leaf-level and canopy-level reflectance were collected at multiple phenologic time points in each growing season. Reflectance values at 2 wk after planting (WAP) in both years indicated strong spectral differences between species across the visible (VIS; 350–700 nm), near-infrared (NIR; 701–1,300 nm), shortwave-infrared I (SWIR1; 1,301–1,900 nm), and shortwave-infrared II (SWIR2; 1,901–2,500 nm) regions. Results from this study indicate that plant spectral reflectance changes with plant phenology and is influenced by plant biophysical characteristics. Canopy-level differences were detected in both years across all dates except for 1 WAP in 2017. Species with similar canopy types (e.g., broadleaf prostrate, broadleaf erect, or grass/sedge) were more readily discriminated from species with different canopy types. Asynchronous phenology between species also resulted in spectral differences between species. SWIR1 and SWIR2 wavelengths are often not included in multispectral sensors but should be considered for species differentiation. Results from this research indicate that wavelengths in SWIR1 and SWIR2 in conjunction with VIS and NIR reflectance can provide differentiation across plant phenologies and, therefore should be considered for use in future sensor technologies for species differentiation.
Field studies were conducted to determine sweetpotato tolerance to and weed control from management systems that included linuron. Treatments included flumioxazin preplant (107 g ai ha−1) followed by (fb) S-metolachlor (800 g ai ha−1), oryzalin (840 g ai ha−1), or linuron (280, 420, 560, 700, and 840 g ai ha−1) alone or mixed with S-metolachlor or oryzalin applied 7 d after transplanting. Weeds did not emerge before the treatment applications. Two of the four field studies were maintained weed-free throughout the season to evaluate sweetpotato tolerance without weed interference. The herbicide program with the greatest sweetpotato yield was flumioxazin fb S-metolachlor. Mixing linuron with S-metolachlor did not improve Palmer amaranth management and decreased marketable yield by up to 28% compared with flumioxazin fb S-metolachlor. Thus, linuron should not be applied POST in sweetpotato if Palmer amaranth has not emerged at the time of application.
Management options are needed to limit sweetpotato yield loss due to weeds. Greenhouse studies were conducted in 2018 in Greensboro, NC, and in the field from 2016 to 2018 in Clinton, NC, to evaluate the effect of bicyclopyrone on sweetpotato and Palmer amaranth (field only). In greenhouse studies, Covington and NC04-531 clones were treated with bicyclopyrone (0, 25, 50, 100, or 150 g ai ha−1) either preplant (PP; i.e., immediately before transplanting) or post-transplant (PT; i.e., on the same day after transplanting). Sweetpotato plant injury and stunting increased, and vine length and shoot dry weight decreased with increasing rate of bicyclopyrone regardless of clone or application timing. In field studies, Beauregard (2016) or Covington (2017 and 2018) sweetpotato clones were treated with bicyclopyrone at 50 g ha−1 PP, flumioxazin at 107 g ai ha−1 PP, bicyclopyrone at 50 or 100 g ha−1 PP followed by (fb) S-metolachlor at 800 g ai ha−1 PT, flumioxazin at 107 g ha−1 PP fb S-metolachlor at 800 g ha−1 PT, flumioxazin at 107 g ha−1 PP fb S-metolachlor at 800 g ha−1 PT fb bicyclopyrone at 50 g ha−1 PT-directed, and clomazone at 420 g ai ha−1 PP fb S-metolachlor at 800 g ha−1 PT. Bicyclopyrone PP at 100 g ha−1 fb S-metolachlor PT caused 33% or greater crop stunting and 44% or greater marketable yield reduction compared with the weed-free check in 2016 (Beauregard) and 2017 (Covington). Bicyclopyrone PP at 50 g ha−1 alone or fb S-metolachlor PT resulted in 12% or less injury and similar no. 1 and jumbo yields as the weed-free check in 2 of 3 yr. Injury to Covington from bicyclopyrone PT-directed was 4% or less at 4 or 5 wk after transplanting and marketable yield was similar to that of the weed-free check in 2017 and 2018.
Palmer amaranth is the most common and troublesome weed in North Carolina sweetpotato. Field studies were conducted in Clinton, NC, in 2016 and 2017 to determine the critical timing of Palmer amaranth removal in ‘Covington’ sweetpotato. Palmer amaranth was grown with sweetpotato from transplanting to 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 wk after transplanting (WAP) and maintained weed-free for the remainder of the season. Palmer amaranth height and shoot dry biomass increased as Palmer amaranth removal was delayed. Season-long competition by Palmer amaranth interference reduced marketable yields by 85% and 95% in 2016 and 2017, respectively. Sweetpotato yield loss displayed a strong inverse linear relationship with Palmer amaranth height. A 0.6% and 0.4% decrease in yield was observed for every centimeter of Palmer amaranth growth in 2016 and 2017, respectively. The critical timing for Palmer amaranth removal, based on 5% loss of marketable yield, was determined by fitting a log-logistic model to the relative yield data and was determined to be 2 WAP. These results show that Palmer amaranth is highly competitive with sweetpotato and should be managed as early as possible in the season. The requirement of an early critical timing of weed removal to prevent yield loss emphasizes the importance of early-season scouting and Palmer amaranth removal in sweetpotato fields. Any delay in removal can result in substantial yield reductions and fewer premium quality roots.
Field studies were conducted in 2016 and 2017 at Clinton, NC, to quantify the effects of season-long interference of large crabgrass [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.] and Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) on ‘AG6536’ soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Weed density treatments consisted of 0, 1, 2, 4, and 8 plants m−2 for A. palmeri and 0, 1, 2, 4, and 16 plants m−2 for D. sanguinalis with (interspecific interference) and without (intraspecific interference) soybean to determine the impacts on weed biomass, soybean biomass, and seed yield. Biomass per square meter increased with increasing weed density for both weed species with and without soybean present. Biomass per square meter of D. sanguinalis was 617% and 37% greater when grown without soybean than with soybean, for 1 and 16 plants m−2 respectively. Biomass per square meter of A. palmeri was 272% and 115% greater when grown without soybean than with soybean for 1 and 8 plants m−2, respectively. Biomass per plant for D. sanguinalis and A. palmeri grown without soybean was greatest at the 1 plant m−2 density. Biomass per plant of D. sanguinalis plants across measured densities was 33% to 83% greater when grown without soybean compared with biomass per plant when soybean was present for 1 and 16 plants m−2, respectively. Similarly, biomass per plant for A. palmeri was 56% to 74% greater when grown without soybean for 1 and 8 plants m−2, respectively. Biomass per plant of either weed species was not affected by weed density when grown with soybean due to interspecific competition with soybean. Yield loss for soybean grown with A. palmeri ranged from 14% to 37% for densities of 1 to 8 plants m−2, respectively, with a maximum yield loss estimate of 49%. Similarly, predicted loss for soybean grown with D. sanguinalis was 0 % to 37% for densities of 1 to 16 m−2 with a maximum yield loss estimate of 50%. Soybean biomass was not affected by weed species or density. Results from these studies indicate that A. palmeri is more competitive than D. sanguinalis at lower densities, but that similar yield loss can occur when densities greater than 4 plants m−2 of either weed are present.
Field studies were conducted in 2016 and 2017 in Clinton, NC, to determine the interspecific and intraspecific interference of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) or large crabgrass [Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop.] in ‘Covington’ sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.]. Amaranthus palmeri and D. sanguinalis were established 1 d after sweetpotato transplanting and maintained season-long at 0, 1, 2, 4, 8 and 0, 1, 2, 4, 16 plants m−1 of row in the presence and absence of sweetpotato, respectively. Predicted yield loss for sweetpotato was 35% to 76% for D. sanguinalis at 1 to 16 plants m−1 of row and 50% to 79% for A. palmeri at 1 to 8 plants m−1 of row. Weed dry biomass per meter of row increased linearly with increasing weed density. Individual dry biomass of A. palmeri and D. sanguinalis was not affected by weed density when grown in the presence of sweetpotato. When grown without sweetpotato, individual weed dry biomass decreased 71% and 62% from 1 to 4 plants m−1 row for A. palmeri and D. sanguinalis, respectively. Individual weed dry biomass was not affected above 4 plants m−1 row to the highest densities of 8 and 16 plants m−1 row for A. palmeri and D. sanguinalis, respectively.
Greenhouse and field studies were conducted to determine tolerance of blueberry to saflufenacil. Greenhouse studies included five saflufenacil rates (0, 50, 100, 200, and 400 g ai ha−1) and three southern highbush blueberry cultivars (‘Legacy’, ‘New Hanover’, and ‘O’Neal’) and one rabbiteye blueberry cultivar (‘Columbus’). Saflufenacil treatments were soil applied into each pot when blueberry plants were approximately 30-cm tall. Visible injury (purpling/reddening of foliage and leaf abscission) ranged from 3% to 12%, 3% to 42%, 0% to 43%, and 0% to 29% with saflufenacil from 50 to 400 g ha−1 in Columbus, Legacy, New Hanover, and O’Neal, respectively, at 28 d after treatment. Regardless of injury, plant growth (change in height), soil plant analysis development, and whole-plant dry biomass of all cultivars did not differ among saflufenacil rates. Field studies were conducted in Burgaw, NC, to determine the tolerance of nonbearing (<3-yr-old and not mature enough to produce fruit) and bearing (>3-yr-old and mature enough to produce fruit) southern highbush blueberry (‘Duke’) to saflufenacil application at pre-budbreak or during the vegetative growth stage. Treatments included three rates of saflufenacil (50, 100, and 200 g ha−1), glyphosate (870 g ae ha−1), glufosinate (1096 g ai ha−1), glyphosate (870 g ha−1) + saflufenacil (50 g ha−1), glufosinate (1096 g ha−1) + saflufenacil (50 g ha−1), and hexazinone (1,120 g ai ha−1), applied POST-directed to the soil surface beneath blueberry plants in a 76-cm band on both sides of the blueberry planting row. The maximum injury from treatments containing saflufenacil was ≤11% in both nonbearing and bearing blueberry. No negative effects on plant growth or fruit yield were observed from any treatments. Results from both greenhouse and field studies suggest that saflufenacil applied at 50 (1X commercial use rate) and 100 g ha−1 is safe to use in blueberry.
Studies were conducted at six locations across North Carolina to determine tolerance of ‘Sunbelt’ grape (bunch grape) and muscadine grape (‘Carlos’, ‘Triumph’, ‘Summit’) to indaziflam herbicide. Treatments included indaziflam (0, 50, 73 g ai ha–1) or flumioxazin (213 g ai ha–1) applied alone in April, and sequential applications of indaziflam (36, 50, 73 g ai ha–1) or flumioxazin (213 g ai ha–1) applied in April followed by the same rate applied in June. No crop injury was observed across locations. Muscadine yield was not affected by herbicide treatments. Yield of ‘Sunbelt’ grape increased with sequential applications of indaziflam at 73 g ha–1 when compared to a single application of indaziflam at 50 g ha–1 or flumioxazin at 213 g ha–1 in 2015. Sequential applications of flumioxazin at 213 g ha–1 reduced ‘Sunbelt’ yield compared to a single application of indaziflam at 73 g ha–1 in 2016. Trunk cross-sectional area was unaffected by herbicide treatments. Fruit quality (soluble solids concentration, titratable acidity, and pH) for muscadine and bunch grape was not affected by herbicide treatments. Indaziflam was safe to use at registered rates and could be integrated into weed management programs for southern US vineyards.
Field and greenhouse studies were conducted in 2016 and 2017 to determine sweetpotato tolerance to herbicides applied to plant propagation beds. Herbicide treatments included PRE application of flumioxazin (107 g ai ha−1), S-metolachlor (800 g ai ha−1), fomesafen (280 g ai ha−1), flumioxazin plus S-metolachlor (107 g ai ha−1 + 800 g ai ha−1), fomesafen plus S-metolachlor (280 g ai ha−1 + 800 g ai ha−1), fluridone (1,120 or 2,240 g ai ha−1), fluridone plus S-metolachlor (1,120 g ai ha−1 + 800 g ai ha−1), napropamide (1,120 g ai ha−1), clomazone (420 g ai ha−1), linuron (560 g ai ha−1), linuron plus S-metolachlor (560 g ai ha−1 + 800 g ai ha−1), bicyclopyrone (38 or 49.7 g ai ha−1), pyroxasulfone (149 g ai ha−1), pre-mix of flumioxazin plus pyroxasulfone (81.8 g ai ha−1 + 104.2 g ai ha−1), or metribuzin (294 g ai ha−1). Paraquat plus non-ionic surfactant (280 g ai ha−1 + 0.25% v/v) POST was also included. After plants in the propagation bed were cut and sweetpotato slip number, length, and weight had been determined, the slips were then transplanted to containers and placed either in the greenhouse or on an outdoor pad to determine any effects from the herbicide treatments on initial sweetpotato growth. Sweetpotato slip number, length, and/or weight were affected by flumioxazin with or without S-metolachlor, S-metolachlor with or without fomesafen, clomazone, and all fluridone treatments. In the greenhouse studies, initial root growth of plants after transplanting was inhibited by fluridone (1,120 g ai ha−1) and fluridone plus S-metolachlor. However, by 5 wk after transplanting few differences were observed between treatments. Fomesafen, linuron with or without S-metolachlor, bicyclopyrone (38 or 49.7 g ai ha−1), pyroxasulfone with or without flumioxazin, metribuzin, and paraquat did not cause injury to sweetpotato slips in any of the studies conducted.
Watermelon [Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum & Nakai] grafting is commonly used for management of diseases caused by soilborne pathogens; however, little research exists describing the effect of grafting on the weed-competitive ability of watermelon. Field experiments determined the response in yield, fruit number, and fruit quality of grafted and nongrafted watermelon exposed to increasing densities of Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson). Grafting treatments included ‘Exclamation’ triploid (seedless) watermelon grafted on two interspecific hybrid squash rootstocks ‘Carnivor’ and ‘Kazako’, with nongrafted Exclamation as the control. Weed treatments included A. palmeri at densities of 1, 2, 3, and 4 A. palmeri plants per watermelon planting hole (0.76-m row) and a weed-free control. Increasing A. palmeri densities caused significant reductions (P <0.05) in marketable watermelon yield and marketable fruit number. Watermelon yield reduction was described by a rectangular hyperbola model, and 4 A. palmeri plants planting hole−1 reduced marketable yield 41%, 38%, and 65% for Exclamation, Carnivor, and Kazako, respectively. Neither grafting treatment nor A. palmeri density had a biologically meaningful effect on soluble solids content or on the incidence of hollow heart in watermelon fruit. Amaranthus palmeri seed and biomass production was similar across weed population densities, but seed number per female A. palmeri decreased according to a two-parameter exponential decay equation. Thus, increasing weed population densities resulted in increased intraspecific competition among A. palmeri plants. While grafting may offer benefits for disease resistance, no benefits regarding weed-competitive ability were observed, and a consistent yield penalty was associated with grafting, even in weed-free treatments.
Studies were conducted to determine the tolerance of sweetpotato and Palmer amaranth control to a premix of flumioxazin and pyroxasulfone pretransplant (PREtr) followed by (fb) irrigation. Greenhouse studies were conducted in a factorial arrangement of four herbicide rates (flumioxazin/pyroxasulfone PREtr at 105/133 and 57/72 g ai ha–1, S-metolachlor PREtr 803 g ai ha–1, nontreated) by three irrigation timings [2, 5, and 14 d after transplanting (DAP)]. Field studies were conducted in a factorial arrangement of seven herbicide treatments (flumioxazin/pyroxasulfone PREtr at 40/51, 57/72, 63/80, and 105/133 g ha–1, 107 g ha–1 flumioxazin PREtr fb 803 g ha–1S-metolachlor 7 to 10 DAP, and season-long weedy and weed-free checks) by three 1.9-cm irrigation timings (0 to 2, 3 to 5, or 14 DAP). In greenhouse studies, flumioxazin/pyroxasulfone reduced sweetpotato vine length and shoot and storage root fresh biomass compared to the nontreated check and S-metolachlor. Irrigation timing had no influence on vine length and root fresh biomass. In field studies, Palmer amaranth control was≥91% season-long regardless of flumioxazin/pyroxasulfone rate or irrigation timing. At 38 DAP, sweetpotato injury was≤37 and≤9% at locations 1 and 2, respectively. Visual estimates of sweetpotato injury from flumioxazin/pyroxasulfone were greater when irrigation timing was delayed 3 to 5 or 14 DAP (22 and 20%, respectively) compared to 0 to 2 DAP (7%) at location 1 but similar at location 2. Irrigation timing did not influence no.1, jumbo, or marketable yields or root length-to-width ratio. With the exception of 105/133 g ha–1, all rates of flumioxazin/pyroxasulfone resulted in marketable sweetpotato yield and root length-to-width ratio similar to flumioxazin fb S-metolachlor or the weed-free checks. In conclusion, flumioxazin/pyroxasulfone PREtr at 40/51, 57/72, and 63/80 g ha–1 has potential for use in sweetpotato for Palmer amaranth control without causing significant crop injury and yield reduction.