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  • Author or Editor: Mariano F. Galla x
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Mariano F. Galla, Bradley D. Hanson and Kassim Al-Khatib

Walnut (Juglans regia) and rice (Oryza sativa) are among the most important crops grown in the Sacramento Valley of California. Because rice herbicides are often applied by air, there are occasional allegations of rice herbicide drift onto walnut trees. This study was established to investigate bispyribac-sodium residues on walnut leaves after simulated drift treatments. The objectives were to determine whether bispyribac-sodium can generate visual symptoms on walnut trees without leaving detectable residues in leaf tissues and to evaluate the subsequent impacts on walnut yield. Two experiments were conducted in a 3-year-old walnut orchard. In the first experiment bispyribac-sodium was applied to walnut trees at 0.125%, 0.25%, 0.5%, and 1% of the normal use rate in rice (45 g·ha−1). In the second experiment, rates were 1%, 3%, 10%, and 100% of the normal use rate in rice. Bispyribac-sodium caused general leaf chlorosis and discrete yellow spotting on walnut leaves even at very low concentrations; symptoms were recorded on trees exposed to rates as low as 0.125% of the normal use rate in rice. However, based on high-performance liquid chromatography analysis, the lowest simulated drift treatment from which bispyribac-sodium could be detected 10 d after treatment was 1% of the rice use rate. In general, visual injury symptoms remained constant over time, or even worsened, whereas bispyribac-sodium residues decreased or became not detectable. There was no measurable impact on walnut yield from any of the simulated drift treatments in these experiments.