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  • Author or Editor: Masuzyo Mwanza x
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Relatively few herbicides are registered in Alabama or in the southeastern United States for use in annual hill plasticulture production of strawberries. Acquisition of 24(c) special local needs status for certain herbicides could make more of these chemistries available to the strawberry industry. These herbicides, especially when applied as tank mixes pose potential risks to strawberry plant growth and fruit yield. Special local needs status for these herbicides has been granted for other states, but more evaluation of these products in Alabama soils under plastic mulch is needed. The objective of this study was to assess tank mix applications of preemergence herbicides with different modes of action on plant growth, crop yield, and fruit size of ‘Camarosa’ strawberry. A study was conducted at the Chilton Research and Extension Center in Clanton, AL, in 2018 and 2019. Pendimethalin (3.5 L·ha–1) and S-metolachlor (1.6 L·ha–1) were evaluated for potential phytotoxicity in ‘Camarosa’ strawberry when applied alone or in tank mixes with napropamide (8.6 kg·ha–1), sulfentrazone (0.3 L·ha–1), or terbacil (0.42 L·ha–1) by comparing them to a nontreated control. At 18 weeks after planting, pendimethalin tank mixed with napropamide reduced plant dry weight by 33% compared with the control, but this reduction was not significant. Additionally, tank mixes of pendimethalin with sulfentrazone, napropamide, and terbacil reduced shoot dry weight by 43%, 52%, and 43%, respectively, compared with pendimethalin alone. Pendimethalin + napropamide tank mix reduced relative growth rate by 95% compared with the control between 6 and 18 weeks after planting. All treatments were similar to the control in marketable yield. Differences in plant growth parameters did not appear to affect yield by the end of the experiment. All single applied treatments along with S-metolachlor tank mixed with napropamide and sulfentrazone; pendimethalin tank mixed with sulfentrazone and terbacil appeared to be safe for direct application to strawberry planting beds covered in polyethylene mulch.

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