Evaluation of Low-rate Herbicides to Supplement Methyl Bromide Alternative Fumigants to Control Weeds in Strawberry

in HortTechnology

Methyl bromide has been the foundation of chemical weed control in strawberry (Fragaria ×ananassa) in California for over 40 years. The impending phaseout of methyl bromide may leave strawberry producers dependent on less efficacious alternative fumigants for weed control. The use of herbicides to supplement fumigants is a potential weed control strategy for strawberry. A 2-year field study was conducted in California to evaluate 10 herbicides as possible supplements for methyl bromide alternative fumigants. Herbicides were applied immediately after transplanting (immediate posttransplant), and 3 weeks after transplanting (delayed posttransplant). Napropamide applied immediate posttransplant was included as a commercial standard. Immediate posttransplant treatments that were safe in strawberry include carfentrazone at 0.075 and 0.15 lb/acre (0.084 and 0.168 kg·ha-1), flumioxazin at 0.063 lb/acre (0.071 kg·ha-1) and sulfentrazone at 0.175 and 0.25 lb/acre (0.196 and 0.28 kg·ha-1). Triflusulfuron at 0.016 lb/acre (0.017 kg·ha-1) was the only delayed posttransplant treatment with acceptable selectivity. Among the selective herbicides applied immediate posttransplant, flumioxazin and napropamide provided the most consistent control of bur clover (Medicago polymorpha) and shepherd's purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris). Triflusulfuron applied delayed posttransplant did not significantly reduce bur clover densities, but did reduce shepherd's purse densities.

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