Pre and Early Postemergence Herbicide Phytotoxicity and Yield Effects in Transplanted Peppers

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  • 1 Texas A&M Univ., Horticultural Sciences, Lubbock, TX 79403

Field research was conducted to evaluate pre-transplant (PRE) applications of sulfentrazone (0.20 or 0.41 kg·ha-1 a.i.) and flufenacet (0.045 kg·ha-1 a.i.), or early postemergence (EPOST) halosulfuron (0.027, 0.036 or 0.054 kg·ha-1 a.i.) on phytotoxicity and yield of field-grown chili (var. Sonora), jalapeño (var. Grande) and bell (var. Giant Belle) peppers (Capiscum annuum) in Texas. Crop injury recorded 15 days after sulfentrazone treatments (DAT) showed minor stunting at the low rate, but moderate stunting and temporary leaf malformation when applied at 0.41 kg·ha-1 a.i. Increased stunting occurred 37 DAT at both rates; however, new leaf growth was not affected. Flufenacet did not result in crop injury to any of the three types grown. Phytotoxicity from halosulfuron recorded 7 DAT gave significantly higher ratings for stunting/chlorosis for broadcast EPOST treatments when compared to EPOST-directed applications. Injury from halosulfuron was temporary and considered minor with all EPOST treatments by 22 DAT. Pepper yield data showed that EPOST halosulfuron treatments were statistically equivalent to the untreated controls for each of the three types, but there was a trend for lower yields with rates higher than 0.027 kg·ha-1 a.i. All peppers treated with flufenacet gave excellent yields. Sulfentrazone applied at the high rate gave the greatest yield losses in all three types, and this was significant in the jalapeños. The results indicate that all three herbicides have potential for use in commercial pepper production in Texas. However, more research is needed to evaluate these and other herbicides for improved crop safety in peppers.

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