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Andrew J. Hephner, Tyler Cooper, Leslie L. Beck and Gerald M. Henry

The effect of mowing regimens on lateral spread of khakiweed (Alternanthera pungens Kunth) was determined through field studies conducted over a 3-month period in Texas during 2009 and 2010. Treatments were selected to simulate mowing regimens common to intensively managed common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] turf and included heights of 1.3 cm (three times/wk), 2.5 cm (two times/week), and 5.1 cm (two times/week). A non-mowed control was included for comparison. Differences in lateral spread of khakiweed among mowing regimens were apparent 4 weeks after initial treatment (WAIT). However, plant diameter increased for all mowing regimens over the course of the trial. Khakiweed plants subjected to the 1.3-cm mowing regimen did not increase in diameter from Week 2 through Week 12, whereas the other two mowing regimens exhibited steady increases in plant diameter over the same time period. By 12 WAIT, non-mowed control plots measured 80.8 cm in diameter, whereas those maintained at 1.3 cm measured 55.3 cm. Comparatively, plants subjected to the 2.5- and 5.1-cm mowing regimens measured 64.7 and 68.8 cm, respectively. Therefore, khakiweed infestations may be more prevalent in bermudagrass mowing heights commonly used for golf course roughs, athletic fields, and home lawns (2.5 cm or greater). However, the production of a thick taproot high in carbohydrate content may enable khakiweed to regenerate from frequent defoliation common to fairway mowing regimes (2.5 cm or less). Adjustments in mowing height may not be enough to effectively reduce khakiweed populations in bermudagrass turf.

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Andrew J. Hephner, Tyler Cooper, Leslie L. Beck and Gerald M. Henry

Khakiweed (Alternanthera pungens Kunth) response to single and sequential herbicide applications was evaluated during the summer of 2009 and 2010 in Texas. No bermudagrass phytotoxicity was observed throughout the length of each trial regardless of herbicide treatment. Carfentrazone at 0.034 kg a.i./ha, metsulfuron + carfentrazone at 0.021 + 0.034 kg a.i./ha, and trifloxysulfuron + carfentrazone at 0.018 + 0.034 kg a.i./ha exhibited 74% to 85% khakiweed control 2 weeks after initial treatment (WAIT) regardless of application regime. Control with carfentrazone (0.017 kg a.i./ha) was only 63% to 65% 2 WAIT regardless of application regime. Metsulfuron and trifloxysulfuron treatments exhibited 54% or less khakiweed control 2 WAIT regardless of rate. Six weeks later (8 WAIT), sequential applications of metsulfuron exhibited 98% control regardless of rate, whereas control with single applications was 79% to 87%. Sequential applications of trifloxysulfuron exhibited 86% to 88% khakiweed control 8 WAIT regardless of rate, whereas single applications exhibited 47% or less control. Carfentrazone treatments exhibited 5% or less control regardless of rate or sequential application 8 WAIT. Tank-mixing metsulfuron or trifloxysulfuron with carfentrazone did not improve control 8 WAIT compared with either sulfonylurea herbicide applied alone. Although initial khakiweed injury was observed in all treatments, effective long-term control was difficult to achieve. Excellent control (95% to 97%) was exhibited by sequential metsulfuron applications 12 WAIT regardless of rate. Sequential applications of trifloxysulfuron (0.018 or 0.028 kg a.i./ha) and single applications of metsulfuron at 0.042 kg a.i./ha exhibited moderate khakiweed control (75% to 80%) 12 WAIT. All other treatments exhibited 57% or less khakiweed control 12 WAIT. Efficacy of sequential metsulfuron applications is a strong incentive for its adoption over trifloxysulfuron applications for the control of khakiweed in bermudagrass turf.

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Jared. A. Hoyle, Gerald M. Henry, Travis Williams, Aaron Holbrook, Tyler Cooper, Leslie L. Beck and Andrew J. Hephner

Growing concern over the sufficiency and variability of present water supplies in the arid Southwest has led to the examination of buffalograss [Buchloe dactyloides (Nutt.) Engelm.] for water conservation. Increasing acceptance of buffalograss will require investigation into conversion techniques for its establishment. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the effects of seedbed preparation and seeding rate on the establishment of buffalograss after bermudagrass desiccation with glyphosate. Research was conducted at the Texas Tech Quaker Research farm in 2009 and 2010 on a mature ‘Riviera’ common bermudagrass [Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers.] rough. Bermudagrass was sprayed with glyphosate at 1.1 kg acid equivalent (ae)/ha 5 and 1 weeks before seedbed preparation. Plots were scalped after desiccation. Treatments were arranged in a two × four factorial, randomized complete block design with four replications. two buffalograss seeding rates and four seedbed preparation treatments. Seedbed preparation treatments consisted of no seedbed preparation, topdressing alone (0.6-cm layer), hollow-tine aerification + topdressing, or verticutting + topdressing. ‘TopGun’ buffalograss was planted on 1 June 2009 and 4 June 2010 at 146 or 195 kg·ha−1. Grid counts were conducted to determine buffalograss cover one, two, and three months after planting (MAP). Counts were then converted to percent cover (0% to 100%). Greater buffalograss cover was observed when seed was applied at the higher rate (196 kg·ha−1) except within treatments that did not receive seedbed preparation treatment. No seedbed preparation resulted in unacceptable buffalograss cover. Percent buffalograss cover three MAP was 75%, 83%, and 86% for topdressing alone, aerification + topdressing, and verticutting + topdressing treatments seeded at 195 kg·ha−1, respectively.