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Makhan S. Bhullar, Simerjeet Kaur, Tarundeep Kaur and Amit J. Jhala

Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of four major food crops in the world. Weed control is a major component in potato production and has been accomplished using different methods, including but not limited to the use of herbicides and straw mulch. A combination of preemergence herbicide and straw mulch may improve weed control; however, no information is available for combining both methods, along with their effects on weed control, weed density, and potato tuber yields. The objective of this study was to evaluate weed control in potato using atrazine or straw mulch applied alone at different rates or in combination. A field experiment was conducted for 4 years from 2006 to 2010 in Ludhiana, Punjab, India. Common weeds included burclover (Medicago arabica), common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), littleseed canarygrass (Phalaris minor), purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus), scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis), swinecress (Coronopus didymus), and toothed dock (Rumex dentatus). Results suggested that atrazine applied alone was not very effective and resulted in 0% to 78% control depending on the weed species being investigated at 30 days after treatment (DAT). Straw mulch applied alone at any rate provided ≥90% control of toothed dock, but control of other weed species was variable. A combination of atrazine and straw mulch at any rate usually resulted in >90% weed control at 30 DAT, except for swinecress and purple nutsedge. This treatment combination also resulted in weed density as low as 0 plant/m2 for common lambsquarters, scarlet pimpernel, and toothed dock. Potato tuber weight and yield was significantly higher in all treatments compared with untreated control without difference among them. It is concluded that a combination of straw mulch and atrazine can provide effective weed control in potato.

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Amit J. Jhala, Analiza H.M. Ramirez and Megh Singh

Herbicides are usually applied multiple times by growers for season long weed control in Florida citrus (Citrus sp.). Rimsulfuron, a sulfonylurea herbicide has been recently registered for control of certain grasses and broadleaf weeds in citrus. To increase the weed control spectrum and reduce application cost, citrus growers often prefer to tank mix herbicides. Field experiments were conducted in 2010 and 2011 in citrus groves in central Florida to evaluate weed control efficacy and crop safety of rimsulfuron applied alone or in tank mixes with flumioxazin, pendimethalin, or oryzalin. Herbicides were applied sequentially in spring and fall in both years on the same experimental plot. Results suggested that rimsulfuron applied alone controlled >80% broadleaf and grass weeds up to 30 days after treatment (DAT) and was comparable to tank mixing rimsulfuron with pendimethalin or oryzalin; however, control was reduced beyond 30 DAT. Rimsulfuron tank mixed with flumioxazin was the most effective treatment at 30 and 60 DAT that provided, respectively, ≥88% and >75%, control of broadleaf weeds including brazil pusley (Richardia brasiliensis), dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), cotton weed (Froelichia floridana), and virginia pepperweed (Virginia virginicum) compared with other treatments. Control of natalgrass (Melinis repens) was higher in all tank mix treatments compared with rimsulfuron applied alone with no difference among tank mix partners. Rimsulfuron tank mixed with pendimethalin or oryzalin had no advantage over rimsulfuron applied alone for control of broadleaf weeds. Among sequential applications, weed control was better after fall herbicide application (August) compared with spring (April) because of residual activity of fall applied herbicides. Rimsulfuron tank mixed with flumioxazin will provide citrus growers with an additional weed control option.

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Megh Singh, Shiv D. Sharma, Analiza H.M. Ramirez and Amit J. Jhala

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide for postemergence weed control in Florida citrus (Citrus spp.). Variation in susceptibility of certain weed species to glyphosate has been observed in last few years. Therefore, understanding the mechanism underlying such phenomenon is required. Experiments were conducted to evaluate differences in tolerance of four weed species to glyphosate by quantifying glyphosate efficacy, the amount of epicuticular wax, absorption, and translocation of carbon-14-labeled glyphosate (14C glyphosate). The results of glyphosate efficacy study suggested that application of glyphosate at 3 oz/acre resulted in 99%, 90%, and 84% control of florida beggarweed (Desmodium tortuosum), spanishneedles (Bidens bipinnata), and johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense), respectively. Increasing application rate and addition of nonionic surfactant (NIS) usually did not improve glyphosate efficacy. Ivyleaf morningglory (Ipomoea hederacea) was the most tolerant and resulted in 0% and 25% control when glyphosate applied at 3 and 24 oz/acre, respectively. Biomass reduction in all weed species reflected a similar trend to percent control in response to all glyphosate treatments. Glyphosate absorption and translocation in the weed species were differed with the quantity of wax extracted. Ivyleaf morningglory had the lowest leaf wax content (10.8 μg·cm−2) and showed less absorption (62% to 79%) and translocation (15% to 39%) of 14C-glyphosate compared with other weed species. The absorption of 14C-glyphosate was in the range of 87%, 71% to 83%, and 72% to 83%; and translocation was 34% to 50%, 32% to 52%, and 53% to 58% in florida beggarweed, spanishneedles, and johnsongrass, respectively. Increasing glyphosate application rate from 6 to 12 oz/acre and addition of NIS usually increased 14C-glyphosate translocation.

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Megh Singh, Mayank Malik, Analiza H.M. Ramirez and Amit J. Jhala

Citrus (Citrus spp.) is one of the most important crops in Florida agriculture. Weed control is a major component in citrus production practices. If not controlled, weeds may compete with citrus trees for nutrients, water, and light and may also increase pest problems. Herbicides are an important component of integrated weed management program in citrus. Saflufenacil, a new herbicide registered for broadleaf weed control in citrus, can be applied alone or in a tank mix with other herbicides to improve weed control efficacy. A total of six field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2009 to evaluate the efficacy of saflufenacil applied alone or in a tank mix with glyphosate and pendimethalin for weed control. In addition, experiments were also conducted to evaluate phytotoxicity of saflufenacil applied at different rates and time intervals in citrus. The results suggested that saflufenacil applied alone was usually effective for early season broadleaf weed control; however, weed control efficacy reduced beyond 30 days after treatment (DAT) compared with a tank mix of saflufenacil, glyphosate, and pendimethalin. For example, control of weeds was ≤70% when saflufenacil or glyphosate applied alone compared with tank mix treatments at 60 and 90 DAT. Addition of pendimethalin as a tank mix partner usually resulted in better residual weed control compared with a tank mix of saflufenacil and glyphosate, and this herbicide mixture was comparable with grower's adopted standard treatment of a tank mix of glyphosate, norflurazon, and diuron and several other tank mix treatments. Saflufenacil applied once in a season at different rates or even in sequential applications did not injure citrus trees when applied according to label directions. It is concluded that with its novel mode of action, saflufenacil tank mixed with glyphosate and pendimethalin would provide citrus growers with another chemical tool to control broadleaf and grass weeds.