A well maintained orchard floor is critical for insuring year-round orchard access and a clean almond harvest operation. This study compared three methods of orchard floor vegetation management over a 4-year period. The objective of this study was to evaluate cost effective vegetation management programs for difficult to control summer annual weeds while maintaining the population of desirable winter annual species. Common purslane (Portulaca oleracea) can be a major summer weed problem that interferes with almond harvesting operations. A low rate residual herbicide program controlled purslane more consistently than mechanical or chemical mowing programs. Desirable winter weed cover was preserved in all three management systems. The costs for each program were similar; however, there was a reduction in the number of operations required for both chemical mowing and low rate residual programs compared to the mechanical mowing program.
The Wisconsin potato crop is managed intensively through multiple inputs of pesticide, fertilizer, and irrigation. Beginning in 1979, a multidisciplinary team at the Univ. of Wisconsin developed an effective Integrated Pest Management Program to address key management decisions associated with this crop. The program fostered the development of several private IPM businesses and continues to help increase the acceptance of IPM technology by the potato industry. Results of component and integrative research, funded by industry, state, and federal sources, provided the essential ingredients for development of computer software now used for managing the potato crop on ≈ 70,000 acres (28,330 ha) of potatoes in a multistate area. The software helps growers determine the need for and timing of critical crop inputs. By reducing or eliminating unneeded pesticide and irrigation applications, the software helps to improve overall production efficiency. Industry adoption of this software is providing the impetus for development of more comprehensive software that includes additional aspects of potato production as well as the production of crops grown in rotation with potato.