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C.E. Elmore, D.R. Donaldson, and J.A. Roncoroni

Cover crops are planted between vineyard rows to control erosion, maintain organic material and influence pest management. Planted cover crops are preferable to resident vegetation (weeds) because they can be selected for beneficial characteristic. Sethoxydim and fluazifop-butyl alone and in combination with 2,4-D were applied in December 1988 and 1989 to release Festuca megalura (Zorro fescue). Untreated plots were mowed to maintain vegetation. Frequency, percent cover and biomass of the vegetation was evaluated to determine species shift. The vegetation was composed mainly of: 1. Festuca megalura, Poa annua with other grasses in minor amounts; and 2. Stellaria media, Centaurea solstitialis, Erodium botrys and Erodium cicutarium

Following sethoxydim or fluazifop-butyl treatments, annual grasses other than Festuca megalura and Poa annua were reduced but Centaurea sp. increased over the length of the experiment. Treatments containing 2,4-D Centaurea and Erodium spp. declined in both frequency and percent cover. The desirable cover crop species (Festuca megalura) increased in all treated plots. No species shift was observed in the mowed treatments. Two applications of selective post-emergence herbicides maintained shift of species over the 5 years of the study.

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J.M. Goatley Jr., V.L. Maddox, D.L. Lang, R.E. Elmore, and B.R. Stewart

The ability of a temporary turf cover and foliar-applied iron (Fe) to sustain or promote bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon (L.) × transvaalensis Burtt-Davy `Tifway' growth beyond its normal growing periods in central Mississippi was evaluated during the fall, winter, and spring seasons of 1998-2001. The application of a polypropylene turf blanket when night temperatures were predicted to be ≤4 °C extended acceptable bermudagrass turf quality by 5 to 8 weeks in the fall and winter period as compared to the uncovered control plots. Also, complete green-up of the turf occurred 4 to 6 weeks earlier the following spring. There was no enhancement in bermudagrass quality by temporarily covering at predicted night temperatures of ≤15 or ≤9.5 °C. Foliar applied iron (Fe) further enhanced turf quality in the fall and winter months, but resulted in no visible turf response the following spring. Total nonstructural carbohydrate (TNC) concentrations in rhizomes that were sampled during November, January, and April 2000 and 2001 were generally increased by the cover application as compared to the uncovered control. Foliar Fe applications did not influence TNC levels.