(220) Pelargonic Acid Weed Control Parameters

in HortScience
Authors:
Charles L. Webber1USDA–ARS, So. Central Agric. Res. Lab., Lane, OK, 74555

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James W. Shrefler2Oklahoma State University, WWAREC, Lane, Oklahoma, 74555

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Producers and researchers are interested in pelargonic acid (nonanoic acid) as a broad-spectrum postemergence or burn-down herbicide. Pelargonic acid is a fatty acid naturally occurring in many plants and animals, and present in many foods we consume. The objective of this research was to determine the effect of pelargonic acid concentration, adjuvants, and application timing on weed control efficacy as a burn-down herbicide. Field research was conducted at Lane, Okla. (southeast Oklahoma), during the 2005 growing season. One month prior to spraying the weed control treatments, the land was cultivated to kill the existing weeds and provide a uniform seed bed for new weed growth. The factorial weed control treatments included three application concentrations of Scythe (57.0% pelargonic acid) applied at 3%, 6.5%, and 10%; three adjuvants (none, orange oil, and non-ionic surfactant); and two application dates. All herbicide treatments were applied with an application volume of 935 L/ha to seedling weeds. The experiment had a high weed density with multiple species of grass and broadleaf weeds. Weed control across species increased as the herbicide concentrations increased from 0% to 10%. At all concentrations applied, pelargonic acid produced greater weed control for a longer time period for the broadleaf weeds than the grass weeds. Visual damage to the weeds was often apparent within a few hours after application. There was a significant increase in weed control when applied to the younger weeds. In this research, pelargonic acid was effective in controlling both broadleaf and grass weeds as a burn-down herbicide, although crabgrass was tougher to control.

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