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Data from a national survey of 348 U.S. sports field managers were used to examine the effects of participation in Cooperative Extension events on the adoption of turfgrass weed management practices. Of the respondents, 94% attended at least one event in the previous three years. Of this 94%, 97% reported adopting at least one practice as a result of knowledge gained at an Extension turfgrass event. Half of the respondents adopted four or more practices; a third adopted five or more practices. Non-chemical, cultural practices were the most-adopted practices (65% of respondents). Multiple regression analysis was used to examine factors explaining practice adoption and Extension event attendance. Compared to attending one event, attending three events increased total adoption by an average of one practice. Attending four or more events increased total adoption by two practices. Attending four or more events (compared to one event) increased the odds of adopting six individual practices by 3- to 6-fold, depending on the practice. This suggests practice adoption could be enhanced by encouraging repeat attendance among past Extension event attendees. Manager experience was a statistically significant predictor of the number of Extension events attended, but a poor direct predictor of practice adoption. Experience does not appear to increase adoption directly, but indirectly, via its impact on Extension event attendance. In addition to questions about weed management generally, the survey asked questions about annual bluegrass management, specifically. Respondents were asked to rank seven sources of information for their helpfulness in managing annual bluegrass. There was no single dominant information source, but Extension was ranked as the most helpful more than any other source (by 22% of the respondents) and was ranked among the top three by 53%, closely behind field representative/local distributor sources at 54%.
Annual bluegrass is a troublesome weed in turfgrass, with reported resistance to at least 12 herbicide sites of action. The mitotic-inhibiting herbicide pronamide has both preemergence and postemergence activity on susceptible annual bluegrass populations. Previous studies suggest that postemergence activity may be compromised due to lack of root uptake, as well as target-site- and translocation-based mechanisms. Research was conducted to determine the effects of spray droplet spectra on spray coverage and control of annual bluegrass with pronamide, flazasulfuron, and a mixture of pronamide plus flazasulfuron. Herbicides were delivered to annual bluegrass plants having two to three leaves via five different spray spectra based on volume median diameters (VMD) of 200, 400, 600, 800, and 1,000 µm. Fluorescent tracer dye was added to each treatment solution to quantify the effects of herbicide and spray droplet spectra on herbicide deposition. In another experiment, the efficacy of 0.58, 1.16, and 2.32 kg pronamide ha−1; 0.022, 0.044, and 0.088 kg flazasulfuron ha−1, or a combination of the two, were assessed in iteration with droplet spectrum sprays of 400 and 1,000 µm on two pronamide-resistant and two pronamide-susceptible annual bluegrass populations. Spray droplet spectrum affected the deposition of pronamide and flazasulfuron, applied alone and in combination. Pronamide foliar deposition decreased with increasing droplet spectra. Pronamide efficacy was affected by droplet spectrum, with the largest (1,000 µm) exhibiting improved control. Flazasulfuron efficacy and pronamide plus flazasulfuron efficacy were not affected by droplet spectra. Pronamide plus flazasulfuron mixture controlled all four populations more effectively than pronamide alone, regardless of droplet spectra. A mixture of pronamide plus flazasulfuron applied with relatively large droplets may be optimal for annual bluegrass control, which offers valuable insights for optimizing herbicide application and combatting herbicide resistance. However, applications in this controlled-growth pot study may not mimic conditions in which thatch and turfgrass canopy limit the soil deposition of pronamide.
Turfgrass managers apply nonselective herbicides to control winter annual weeds during dormancy of warm-season turfgrass. Zoysiagrass subcanopies, however, retain green leaves and stems during winter dormancy, especially in warmer climates. The partially green zoysiagrass often deters the use of nonselective herbicides due to variable injury concerns in transition and southern climatic zones. This study evaluated zoysiagrass response to glyphosate and glufosinate applied at four different growing degree day (GDD)-based application timings during postdormancy transition in different locations, including Blacksburg, VA; Starkville, MS; and Virginia Beach, VA, in 2018 and 2019. GDD was calculated using a 5 C base temperature with accumulation beginning January 1 each year, and targeted application timings were 125, 200, 275, and 350 GDD5C. Zoysiagrass injury response to glyphosate and glufosinate was consistent across a broad growing region from northern Mississippi to coastal Virginia, but it varied by application timing. Glyphosate application at 125 and 200 GDD5C can be used safely for weed control during the postdormancy period of zoysiagrass, while glufosinate caused unacceptable turf injury regardless of application timing. Glyphosate and glufosinate exhibited a stepwise increase to maximum injury with increasing targeted GDD5C application timings. Glyphosate applied at 125 or 200 GDD5C did not injure zoysiagrass above a threshold of 30%, whereas glufosinate caused greater than 30% injury for 28 and 29 d when applied at 125 and 200 GDD5C, respectively. Likewise, glyphosate application at 125 or 200 GDD5C did not affect the zoysiagrass green cover area under the progress curve per day, whereas later applications reduced it. Glyphosate and glufosinate caused greater injury to zoysiagrass when applied at greater cumulative heat units and this was attributed to increasing turfgrass green leaf density, because heat unit accumulation is positively correlated with green leaf density. Accumulated heat unit-based application timing will allow practitioners to apply nonselective herbicides with reduced injury concerns.
The mitotic-inhibiting herbicide pronamide controls susceptible annual bluegrass (Poa annua L.) pre- and postemergence, but in some resistant populations, postemergence activity is compromised, hypothetically due to a target-site mutation, lack of root uptake, or an unknown resistance mechanism. Three suspected pronamide-resistant (LH-R, SC-R, and SL-R) and two pronamide-susceptible (BS-S and HH-S) populations were collected from Mississippi golf courses. Dose–response experiments were conducted to confirm and quantify pronamide resistance, as well as resistance to flazasulfuron and simazine. Target sites known to confer resistance to mitotic-inhibiting herbicides were sequenced, as were target sites for herbicides inhibiting acetolactate synthase (ALS) and photosystem II (PSII). Pronamide absorption and translocation were investigated following foliar and soil applications. Dose–response experiments confirmed pronamide resistance of LH-R, SC-R, and SL-R populations, as well as instances of multiple resistance to ALS- and PSII-inhibiting herbicides. Sequencing of the α-tubulin gene confirmed the presence of a mutation that substituted isoleucine for threonine at position 239 (Thr-239-Ile) in LH-R, SC-R, SL-R, and BS-S populations. Foliar application experiments failed to identify differences in pronamide absorption and translocation between the five populations, regardless of harvest time. All populations had limited basipetal translocation—only 3% to 13% of the absorbed pronamide—across harvest times. Soil application experiments revealed that pronamide translocation was similar between SC-R, SL-R, and both susceptible populations across harvest times. The LH-R population translocated less soil-applied pronamide than susceptible populations at 24, 72, and 168 h after treatment, suggesting that reduced acropetal translocation may contribute to pronamide resistance. This study reports three new pronamide-resistant populations, two of which are resistant to two modes of action (MOAs), and one of which is resistant to three MOAs. Results suggest that both target site– and translocation-based mechanisms may be associated with pronamide resistance. Further research is needed to confirm the link between pronamide resistance and the Thr-239-Ile mutation of the α-tubulin gene.
POST goosegrass and other grassy weed control in bermudagrass is problematic. Fewer herbicides that can control goosegrass are available due to regulatory pressure and herbicide resistance. Alternative herbicide options that offer effective control are needed. Previous research demonstrates that topramezone controls goosegrass, crabgrass, and other weed species; however, injury to bermudagrass may be unacceptable. The objective of this research was to evaluate the safening potential of topramezone combinations with different additives on bermudagrass. Field trials were conducted at Auburn University during summer and fall from 2015 to 2018 and 2017 to 2018, respectively. Treatments included topramezone mixtures and methylated seed oil applied in combination with five different additives: triclopyr, green turf pigment, green turf paint, ammonium sulfate, and chelated iron. Bermudagrass bleaching and necrosis symptoms were visually rated. Normalized-difference vegetative index measurements and clipping yield data were also collected. Topramezone plus chelated iron, as well as topramezone plus triclopyr, reduced bleaching potential the best; however, the combination of topramezone plus triclopyr resulted in necrosis that outweighed reductions in bleaching. Masking agents such as green turf paint and green turf pigment were ineffective in reducing injury when applied with topramezone. The combination of topramezone plus ammonium sulfate should be avoided because of the high level of necrosis. Topramezone-associated bleaching symptoms were transient and lasted 7 to 14 d on average. Findings from this research suggest that chelated iron added to topramezone and methylated seed oil mixtures acted as a safener on bermudagrass.
Methiozolin is a selective herbicide that has been reported to control annual bluegrass in creeping bentgrass putting greens. Golf course managers frequently tank-mix fertilizers with herbicides to reduce time and labor, but no information is available regarding such mixtures with methiozolin. Research was conducted to evaluate methiozolin for annual bluegrass control and creeping bentgrass safety when tank-mixed with ammonium sulfate or iron sulfate. Mixtures with ammonium sulfate did not influence annual bluegrass control while they did reduce creeping bentgrass injury in some instances. Mixtures with iron sulfate varied by experimental run but annual bluegrass control was either similar or increased while creeping bentgrass injury did not vary. Paclobutrazol was included as an alternative agrochemical comparison for annual bluegrass management; its application resulted in similar control and injury with and without iron sulfate addition, and injury and control were similar to methiozolin at appropriate rates. While some differences were observed, overall annual bluegrass and creeping bentgrass response to methiozolin was not affected by tank-mix nutrient partner relative to methiozolin applied alone.
Clover inclusion may increase the sustainability of certain low-maintenance turfgrasses. However, selective weed control within mixed turfgrass–clover swards proves problematic because of clover susceptibility to herbicides. Research was conducted to identify common turf herbicides that are tolerated by three Trifolium species, including white clover, ball clover, and small hop clover, within low-maintenance turfgrass. Leaf and flower density, as well as plant height, were measured 4 wk after treatment as indicators of clover response to 14 herbicides. The three Trifolium spp. were moderately tolerant of bentazon (< 35% decrease in leaf density, height, or flowering). Simazine was well tolerated by white clover (< 5% decrease in all response variables), yet moderate injury to ball clover and small hop clover was observed (> 32% decrease in leaf density and > 27% decrease in flower density). Pronamide was well tolerated by white and ball clovers, with no effect on measured response variables; however, pronamide decreased small hop clover height and flower density (38 and 42%, respectively). Imazethapyr and imazamox were moderately well tolerated by white clover and small hop clover (< 39% decrease by all response variables), yet ball clover may be more susceptible to these herbicides than was anticipated based on previously reported tolerance. The herbicides 2,4-DB, halosulfuron, and metribuzin were well tolerated by white clover, with no effect on measured response variables; however, results suggest ball and small hop clovers were less tolerant. Clopyralid, 2,4-D, glyphosate, imazaquin, metsulfuron-methyl, and nicosulfuron resulted in varying degrees of injury across clover species and response variables, but, in general, these herbicides may not be viable options when attempting to maintain any of the three clover species tested. Further research is needed to quantify long-term effects of herbicide application on sward composition and clover succession.
Mesotrione, a carotenoid biosynthesis inhibitor, is being evaluated for use in turfgrass systems. It was hypothesized that root absorption of soil-applied mesotrione is necessary for effective weed control. Greenhouse studies were conducted to compare the effects of foliar-, soil-, and soil-plus-foliar–applied mesotrione at 0.14 and 0.28 kg ai/ha on yellow nutsedge and large crabgrass. In general, greatest control of yellow nutsedge and large crabgrass was by treatments that included soil application. In addition, mesotrione applied at 0.28 kg/ha generally controlled both yellow nutsedge and large crabgrass more effectively than mesotrione applied at 0.14 kg/ha. Soil- and soil-plus-foliar–applied mesotrione at 0.28 kg/ha controlled yellow nutsedge more than foliar-applied mesotrione 56 d after treatment. Soil-plus-foliar–applied mesotrione at 0.28 kg/ha controlled large crabgrass more than any other treatment 28 d after treatment. Soil- and soil-plus-foliar–applied mesotrione at both rates reduced large crabgrass foliar dry weight more effectively than did foliar-applied mesotrione. Results indicate that root absorption of mesotrione from soil is beneficial for the effective control of both yellow nutsedge and large crabgrass. For this reason, methods such as granular or high-volume applications, which enhance delivery of mesotrione to soil, would be potentially beneficial for turfgrass weed control.
The development and spread of glyphosate-resistant (GR) horseweed has increased the use of dicamba as an alternative herbicide treatment. Research evaluated suspected glyphosate-resistant horseweed populations from DeKalb (GR-1) and Cherokee (GR-2) counties, Alabama, for response to glyphosate, dicamba, and glyphosate + dicamba. Populations used for resistance determination were tested at rosette and bolt growth stages. Glyphosate resistance evaluation treatments ranged from 0 to 36.0 kg ae ha−1. Data confirmed that GR-1 and GR-2 horseweed populations were 3.0 to 38 times more resistant to glyphosate than the susceptible population, according to population, data type, and growth stage at treatment. GR-1 and GR-2 populations were further evaluated for response to dicamba. Dicamba was applied at 0 to 1.12 kg ai ha−1, both with and without the addition of glyphosate at 1.12 kg ae ha−1. All populations had similar tolerance to dicamba, with the exception of GR-2 treated at the rosette growth stage, which had ~2-fold greater tolerance. When glyphosate was tank-mixed with dicamba, the response of GR populations was similar to that of dicamba alone. Therefore, any potential resistance-management benefit of tank-mixing dicamba with glyphosate may be negated when one is attempting to control GR horseweed. Conversely, adding glyphosate to dicamba drastically enhanced control of the susceptible population at both growth stages.
Aminocyclopyrachlor (AMCP) is labeled for use on zoysiagrass, but some injury has been observed. Differential zoysiagrass cultivar response to herbicide treatment has been previously reported. This greenhouse study evaluated the response of ‘BK-7’, ‘Cavalier’, ‘Emerald’, ‘Empire’, ‘Meyer’, and ‘Zorro’ zoysiagrass to 0, 0.005, 0.02, 0.11, 0.52, and 2.4, 11 kg ai ha−1, AMCP. Visual estimation of percent necrosis and normalized difference vegetative index (NDVI) analysis were conducted. Based on rating dates and data types three tolerance groups were established: Cavalier, Meyer, and Zorro are the most tolerant; Emerald and Empire are intermediate; and BK-7 is the least tolerant to AMCP. All zoysiagrass cultivars had sufficient tolerance at the labeled rate. Visual and NDVI analyses were highly correlated; however, NDVI data were subject to greater standard error and pseudo R2 values.
Clovers are commonly included as utility plants within mixed grass swards, such as pastures and roadside right-of-ways. As such, they provide supplemental nitrogen, quality forage, and insect habitat. Yet weed control within mixed swards is often hampered by the lack of selective herbicides that are tolerated by clovers. Differential tolerance of legumes to common row-crop and pasture herbicides has previously been reported, yet little information is available that is specific to clover species. Herbicide injury of clover is often inconsistent, hypothetically due to differential species tolerance. Field and greenhouse experiments were conducted with the objective of testing differential tolerance amongst four clover species. Our experiments suggest varying tolerances amongst clover species and common broadleaf herbicides. Only imazaquin control differed due to species; however, treatment by clover interactions were further demonstrated due to variable reductions in clover height. Imazaquin, 2,4-D, 2,4-DB, and triclopyr height reductions differed due to clover species. Differential clover response to herbicide treatment should be an important consideration when managing mixed grass–clover swards and should be accounted for in future research. On a more practical level, our experiments demonstrate a range of herbicides that effectively control clover species, including atrazine, dicamba, clopyralid, 2,4-D, triclopyr, metsulfuron, and trifloxysulfuron. However, results suggest that 2,4-DB, imazethapyr, and bentazon are candidate herbicides for weed control in scenarios in which clover is a desirable crop.
Crabgrass species are problematic weeds in bermudagrass turf that can be controlled by PRE herbicide applications. Because of the difficulty in predicting crabgrass emergence and other prevailing management constraints, PRE herbicide applications are not always properly timed. Mesotrione controls crabgrass both PRE and POST; however, relatively short soil-residual activity limits its use as a PRE herbicide. Two experiments were conducted to evaluate smooth crabgrass control with PRE applications of mesotrione plus prodiamine. The first experiment evaluated the influence of application timing on the efficacy of mesotrione-plus-prodiamine combinations. Applications were made every 2 wk from March 15 to May 24. Mesotrione plus prodiamine controlled smooth crabgrass more consistently across all application dates than either mesotrione or prodiamine applied alone. The second experiment evaluated mesotrione along with current PRE and early POST herbicide treatments used for control of crabgrass. When applied at one to two tillers growth stage, mesotrione plus prodiamine controlled smooth crabgrass 99% when rated on August 31. Bermudagrass injury from mesotrione ranged from 9 to 44%, but did not result in any reduction in turf plant density. Mesotrione plus prodiamine is an effective tank mixture when prodiamine alone is not applied in a timely fashion; however, variable and excessive turf injury is a potential impediment to mesotrione use on bermudagrass turf.
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