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John F. Kelly and Bernard H. Zandstra

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Bernard H. Zandstra and Darryl D. Warncke

Carrots (Daucus carota L.) or onions (Allium cepa L.) were interplanted with barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) or rye (Secale cereale L.) seeded at 0, 0.5, 1.0, or 2.0 bushels/acre (0, 43.5, 87, and 174 liters-ha-i). Barley was killed at heights of 4, 8, 12, or 16 inches (10, 20, 30, or 40 cm), and rye was killed at 4, 6, 7, or 8 inches with a postemergence graminicide. Barley and rye killed at 4 inches did not reduce onion yield. If barley exceeded 8 inches and rye exceeded 7 inches when killed, onion yields were reduced. Carrot yield was reduced only by 2 bushels of barley killed at 16 inches. One bushel of barley per acre killed at 4 inches appeared to be optimal in giving good soil protection and minimal crop competition.

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Bernard H. Zandstra and William R. Chase

Small grains are interseeded with several vegetable crops in Michigan to protect them from wind and water erosion. When the vegetable crop is well-established, the small grain is killed with a graminicide. Research was conducted to determine the optimum combination of small grain species, age of kill, and nitrogen application rate for acceptable pickling cucumber yield in a single harvest. In several experiments, barley, oats, rye, and wheat were seeded at 130 seeds/m2 in the field. Cucumbers were seeded 1 week later. The cover crops were treated with sethoxydim at 0.21 or 0.31 kg·ha–1 plus 1.25% COC when they were 7 to 10 or 13 to 16 cm tall. Small grain size at application had no effect on their kill with sethoxydim or on cucumber yields. Barley and rye were the most vigorous small grains up to 3 weeks after seeding, but oats were similar in size by 4 weeks. Wheat was slower to develop, and more difficult to kill with sethoxydim. The optimum nitrogen treatment was 34 kg·ha–1 before planting the cover crop, followed by 45 kg·ha–1 at the two- to three-leaf stage of cucumber.

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Robert J. Richardson and Bernard H. Zandstra

Four studies were conducted from 2001 to 2004 in Michigan to determine Christmas tree tolerance and weed control with flumioxazin and other herbicide treatments. In Study 1, fraser fir (Abies fraseri) leader length was greater with fall-applied flumioxazin (0.38 lb/acre) than with halosulfuron (0.21 lb/acre), isoxaben (1 lb/acre), oxyfluorfen (1 lb/acre), simazine (2 lb/acre), or sulfentrazone (0.5 lb/acre). Flumioxazin applied in the fall provided preemergent control of common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia), field violet (Viola arvensis), and hoary alyssum (Berteroa incana) 79% to 98% the following summer. Preemergence weed control with the other herbicides was more variable. In Study 2, fraser fir treated in the spring with oxyfluorfen had the shortest leader length (terminal stem growth of the current growing season) at 4.3 inches. Trees treated in the spring with flumioxazin, isoxaben, simazine, and sulfentrazone had leader lengths of 6.7 to 8.7 inches. Flumioxazin applied preemergence in the spring controlled common ragweed 80%, but controlled field violet, hoary alyssum, and white campion (Silene alba) only 43% to 64%. In Study 3, fall-applied flumioxazin alone did not injure colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens). However, mixtures of flumioxazin plus pendimethalin (3 lb/acre) caused 5% and 6% tree injury at 6 months after treatment (MAT) and sulfentrazone plus pendimethalin caused 9% and 23% injury at 6 MAT in 2003 and 2004, and 52% injury at 9 MAT in 2004. There was no significant injury to the trees treated with isoxaben plus pendimethalin, oxyfluorfen plus pendimethalin, or simazine plus pendimethalin in 2003 and 2004. Leader length was reduced by sulfentrazone plus pendimethalin compared with flumioxazin plus pendimethalin and oxyfluorfen plus pendimethalin. Flumioxazin plus pendimethalin provided 84% to 88% preemergence control of annual grasses, common catsear (Hypochoeris radicata), horseweed (Conyza canadensis), and virginia pepperweed (Lepidium virginicum). In Study 4, spring-applied mixtures of flumioxazin plus pendimethalin resulted in minor (2%–10%) visual injury to colorado blue spruce, although leader length at the end of the season did not differ significantly from the control. In summary, flumioxazin controlled several weed species with acceptable selectivity in colorado blue spruce and fraser fir Christmas trees.

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Catur Herison, Joseph G. Masabni, and Bernard H. Zandstra

Three onion (Allium cepa L.) cultivar transplants were grown in the greenhouse in 200-cell plastic trays with one, two, or three plants per cell; at 75, 150, or 225 ppm N; and for 8, 10, or 12 weeks. Increasing the number of plants per cell resulted in smaller seedlings at transplanting and reduced time to maturity in the field by 1 week. Two and three plants per cell yielded more bulbs ≥76 mm in diameter, but one plant per cell had the highest percentage of bulbs ≥102 mm in diameter. Older seedlings and higher N applications produced larger plants at transplant and larger bulbs at harvest. Increasing N applications reduced maturation time slightly. Bulb fresh weight at harvest and yield of bulbs ≥76 mm in diameter were highest with 10- and 12-week-old transplants, and at 150 and 225 ppm N.

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Bernard H. Zandstra, William R. Chase, and Joseph G. Masabni

Pickling cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) for machine harvest were interplanted with barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), sorghum-sudan (Sorghum vulgare L.), or wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Cover crops 3 to 5 (7.6 to 12.7 cm) or 6 to 10 inches (15.2 to 25.4 cm) tall were killed with sethoxydim. Cover crops seeded at ≈12 seeds/ft2 (129 seeds/m2) provided protection from wind erosion and minimal crop competition. Additional nitrogen to obtain maximum yield was required when small grain cover crops were interplanted with cucumbers. Barley emerged rapidly, grew upright, and was killed easily with sethoxydim, making it ideal for interplanting. All cover crops caused some cucumber yield reduction under adverse growing conditions.

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Jorge E. Arboleya, Joseph G. Masabni, Michael G. Particka, and Bernard H. Zandstra

Dry bulb onion (Allium cepa) leaves may not dry down normally and bulbs may not attain dormancy during adverse growing seasons. An effective method of artificial leaf desiccation is needed to complement mechanical harvesting and onion conditioning for storage. Desiccants were tested in 1993, 1994, 1995, 2001, 2002, 2003 on onion leaves prior to harvest, and bulb quality was evaluated after 5 months or more of storage. Carfentrazone, diquat, and paraquat desiccated onion foliage well but increased bulb rot and reduced the percentage of marketable bulbs after storage. Bromoxynil and endothall desiccated onion foliage significantly without inducing rot or reducing the percentage of marketable bulbs. Copper sulfate and pelargonic acid increased desiccation of onion foliage but were not sufficiently effective for field use. Neither reduced the percentage of marketable bulbs. If bromoxynil or endothall were labelled for onion desiccation, they could be applied 10-14 days before harvest to enhance natural leaf senescence and facilitate mechanical harvest.

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Robert E. Uhlig, George Bird, Robert J. Richardson, and Bernard H. Zandstra

A field study was conducted to evaluate fumigant alternatives for methyl bromide (MB). Iodomethane (IM), chloropicrin (CP), 1,3-dichloropropene (1,3-D), metham sodium (MS), and MB in various combinations were applied to a sandy soil field site in Sept. 2002. Some treatments were tarped. Plant injury, plant growth, fresh weight, and dry weight were evaluated for seven ornamental species: cushion spurge (Euphorbia polychroma), globe thistle (Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’), common lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote Blue’), hosta (Hosta ‘Twilight PP14040’), silvermound artemisia (Artemisia schmidtiana ‘Silver Mound’), shasta daisy (Leucanthemum ×superbum ‘Snow Lady’), and thread leaf coreopsis (Coreopsis verticillata ‘Moonbeam’). Weed control was evaluated in Apr. 2003, July 2003, and May 2004. All treatments gave almost complete control of all annual weeds, except for IM 50% + CP 50% (200 lb/acre, tarped) and MS (75 gal/acre, 1:4 water, not tarped), which did not give adequate control of common chickweed (Stellaria media), mouseear cress (Arabidopsis thaliana), common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album), or common purslane (Portulaca oleracea). None of the treatments caused visual injury to any crop species. Treatments did not affect plant size in Nov. 2003. However, some treatments resulted in larger thread leaf coreopsis and silvermound artemisia plants in May 2004. There was no difference in dry weight at harvest between treatments for all species.

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Linglong Wei, Jarrod J. Morrice, Rodney V. Tocco, and Bernard H. Zandstra

Experiments were conducted to test a new herbicide for posttransplant application in Christmas trees. A premix containing 68.6% hexazinone and 6.5% sulfometuron-methyl was applied at 3.0, 4.5, 6.0, 7.5, and 9.0 oz/acre plus 0.25% v/v nonionic surfactant (NIS) to recently transplanted fraser fir (Abies fraseri) Christmas trees and trees transplanted for 1 year in Spring 2008. The treatments were repeated on the same plots in 2009 and 2010. At Gobles, MI, trees treated with 7.5 oz/acre of hexazinone plus sulfometuron had increased stem diameter, after one growing season, and trees treated with 9.0 oz/acre had reduced leader length the second year. After 3 years, fraser fir trees treated with hexazinone plus sulfometuron at 9.0 oz/acre had reduced tree height. Stem diameter, leader length, and number of leader buds were not statistically different from the untreated control. At Horton, MI, trees treated with 9.0 oz/acre of hexazinone plus sulfometuron had reduced leader length after 1, 2, and 3 years. After 3 years, trees treated with hexazinone plus sulfometuron at 6.0, 7.5, and 9.0 oz/acre were shorter than the untreated controls. There were no differences from the untreated trees in stem diameter of trees treated with hexazinone plus sulfometuron after 3 years.

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Bernard H. Zandstra, Sylvia Morse, Rodney V. Tocco, and Jarrod J. Morrice

Asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) is a perennial crop that has a 12- to 20-year production life in the field. Herbicides are applied in the spring each year and again after final harvest in early summer. Asparagus yield declines with age, and herbicides may contribute to yield decline. An experiment was established in 2004 and maintained for seven years with the same herbicide treatments applied each spring to determine herbicide effects on marketable spear yield. Spring-applied diuron, metribuzin, terbacil, sulfentrazone, halosulfuron, mesotrione, and clomazone had no adverse effect on yield or quality over the seven years of the experiment. Flumioxazin reduced yearly average marketable yield compared with standard treatments, and some spears developed lesions early in the season after rainfall. Asparagus yield from most treatments declined more than 50% from 2004 to 2010.