Biological Assessment of Herbicide Use in Apple Production I. Background and Current Use Estimates

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  • 1 Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science, Virginia Tech, HRAREC, Virginia Beach, VA 23455.

Weed management is an important concern for apple producers. Weeds compete with fruit trees for water, nutrients, light and pollination by insects. Weed competition can dramatically reduce apple tree (Malus domestica Borkh.) growth and yield. Weed control practices can impact rodent populations, and insect and disease management in orchards. Use of cultivation can increase soil erosion. Mulches are too expensive for use in orchards and can increase rodent problems. Weeds are generally controlled within the row using herbicides while a grass sod is often used in row middles for erosion control. The most commonly used postemergence herbicides in apples are glyphosate, paraquat, and 2,4-D. Simazine is the most commonly used preemergence herbicide.

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