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Palmer amaranth can grow 4.2 mm in height per degree day; hence, delays of a few days in weed control deployment can result in applications of herbicides to weeds that are larger than those for which the herbicide label recommends. Therefore, it is critically necessary to understand the effect of plant size at the time of herbicide application in conjunction with herbicide spray solution and nozzle type pairings on the effectiveness of weed management programs in the Enlist E3 and XtendFlex production systems. Field experiments were conducted in 2020, in no-crop conditions, at two locations in Arkansas, to evaluate the influence of Palmer amaranth size on its control with glufosinate, dicamba, and 2,4-D applied alone and in mixture with specific nozzle pairings as mandated by label requirements. Also, a laboratory experiment was conducted to evaluate the droplet size and velocity of the spray solutions and nozzles used in the field experiments. A 5- and 10-percentage point reduction in control was observed when dicamba (66%) and 2,4-D (63%) were applied alone, respectively, compared with those herbicides mixed with glufosinate (71% and 73%, respectively). Palmer amaranth density increased to 55, 73, 100, 115, and 140 plants m−2 when plants were sprayed at heights of 15, 25, 41, 61, and 76 cm, respectively, compared with plants that were sprayed when they were 5 cm tall (9 plants m−2). Nozzle type did not affect weed control or density. The percentage of driftable fines increased when a mixture of glufosinate and 2,4-D were used compared with 2,4-D alone. Effective short-term and long-term chemical control of Palmer amaranth will require growers to correctly time their weed management practices and overlay residuals, and expect the need for sequential applications.
Two low-dose dicamba exposure trials were conducted on container-grown peach trees in Fayetteville, AR. Peach trees were ‘July Prince’ scions grafted onto ‘Guardian’ rootstock, were transplanted into 19-L containers, and received experimental dicamba treatments in each year. Container trials were initiated in 2020 and repeated on new trees in 2021. In the repeated application trial, dicamba was applied at 5.6 g ae ha−1 (1/100X field rate) in five sequences: an untreated control receiving no herbicide, one treatment receiving only an initial application, and three treatments receiving an initial application plus sequential applications at the same rate occurring at 14 d, 28 d, and 14 d + 28 d after initial treatment (DAT). A separate trial assessed peach tree responses to dicamba applied at 11.2 g ae ha−1 (1/50X field rate) using a selection of nozzles with differing droplet spectrum characteristics: Turbo TeeJet® induction nozzle TTI11002, air induction turbo TwinJet® nozzle AITTJ60-11002, air induction extended-range (XR) TeeJet® nozzle AIXR11002, XR TeeJet® flat-fan nozzle XR11002, and XR TeeJet® flat-fan nozzle XR1100067. Peach tree height, tree cross-sectional area, and leaf chlorophyll content were not reduced in response to any sequence of dicamba application or nozzle selection. Repeated applications of dicamba at a 1/100X rate did not increase peach injury after 28 DAT. By 84 DAT, no effect of nozzle type on peach tree injury was discernable, and all treatments caused below 4% injury. No dicamba or dicamba metabolites were observed in leaf samples collected at 14, 69, or 85 DAT from trees treated with XR1100067 or in untreated controls. While peach tree injury was observed throughout the experiment, dicamba residues were detected consistently only in 2020 from leaf samples of trees treated with dicamba at a 1/50X rate using TTI1102, AITTJ60-11002, AIXR11002, and XR11002 nozzles.
Field studies were conducted in 2021 in Kibler and Augusta, AR, to determine the effect of winter cover crops and cultivar selection on weed suppression and sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.] yield. The split-split-plot studies evaluated three cover crops [cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) + crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum L.)], [winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) + crimson clover], and fallow; weeding (with or without); and four sweetpotato cultivars (‘Heartogold’, ‘Bayou-Belle-6’, ‘Beauregard-14’, and ‘Orleans’). Heartogold had the tallest canopy, while Beauregard-14 and Bayou Belle-6 had the longest vines at 5 and 8 wk after sweetpotato transplanting. Sweetpotato canopy was about 20% taller in weedy plots compared with the hand-weeded treatment, and vines were shorter under weed interference. Canopy height and vine length of sweetpotato cultivars were not related to weed biomass suppression. However, vine length was positively correlated to all yield grades (r > 0.5). Weed biomass decreased 1-fold in plots with cover crops compared with bare soil at Augusta. Cover crop biomass was positively correlated with jumbo (r = 0.29), no. 1 (r = 0.33), and total sweetpotato yield (r = 0.34). Jumbo yield was affected the most by weed pressure. On average, sweetpotato total yield was reduced by 80% and 60% with weed interference in Augusta and Kibler, respectively. Bayou Belle-6 was the high-yielding cultivar without weed interference in both locations. Bayou Belle-6 and Heartogold were less affected by weed interference than Beauregard-14 and Orleans.
Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Watson) is one of the most problematic weeds in many cropping systems in the midsouthern United States because of its multiple weedy traits and its propensity to evolve resistance to many herbicides with different mechanisms of action. In Arkansas, A. palmeri has evolved metabolic resistance to S-metolachlor, compromising the effectiveness of an important weed management tool. Greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate the differential response of A. palmeri accessions from three states (Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee) to (1) assess the occurrence of resistance to S-metolachlor among A. palmeri populations, (2) evaluate the resistance level in selected accessions and their resistant progeny, (3) and determine the susceptibility of most resistant accessions to other soil-applied herbicides. Seeds were collected from 168 crop fields between 2017 and 2019. One hundred seeds per accession were planted in silt loam soil without herbicide for >20 yr and sprayed with the labeled rate of S-metolachlor (1,120 g ai ha−1). Six accessions (four from Arkansas and two from Mississippi) were classified resistant to S-metolachlor. The effective doses (LD50) to control the parent accessions ranged between 73 and 443 g ha−1, and those of F1 progeny of survivors were 73 to 577 g ha−1. The resistance level was generally greater among progeny of surviving plants than among resistant field populations. The resistant field populations required 2.2 to 7.0 times more S-metolachlor to reduce seedling emergence 50%, while the F1 of survivors needed up to 9.2 times more herbicide to reduce emergence 50% compared with the susceptible standard.
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