Uniformity of sand deposition on cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) farms was examined to evaluate the potential use of two sanding methods to suppress swamp dodder (Cuscuta gronovii) seedling emergence by seed burial. During a 2-year study, 24 farms were evaluated with sand applied by either water barge or directly on ice. To measure the depth of sand deposited on the surface, soil cores were taken every 5 m in a grid pattern on a randomly selected portion of a commercial Massachusetts cranberry farm. Both application methods delivered nonuniform depositions of sand with the majority of the samples measuring less than the target depth. Surface diagrams depicting sand depths indicated no particular patterns of error or deposition that could be advantageously adjusted by the grower at the time of application. Mean actual: target depth ratios were 63% and 66% for barge and ice sanding, respectively (100% indicating actual equaled target). In the best scenario (two farms), 47% of the sanded area received less than the target amount; 11 farms had at least 90% of actual sand depths below the target depth. For farmers targeting 25-mm sand depths (depth expected to suppress dodder germination), the mean actual: target depth ratio was 58%, indicating half of the actual sand depths measured less than 15 mm. Compaction of the sand layer due to the elapsed time period (6 weeks or more) between sand application and measurement may have contributed to the large number of samples that were lower than the target depth. Even so, the irregularity of deposition patterns and the large proportion of sand depths that were less than 25 mm indicated adequate suppression of dodder seedling emergence would be unlikely with either sanding method.
Over a 2-year period, 11 cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) farms in southeastern Massachusetts were selected to evaluate mechanical removal of swamp dodder (Cuscuta gronovii) with a conventional hand-held bamboo rake. This technique consisted of breaking and removing large strands of the parasite that connected host plants; embedded and encircled portions of the parasite were not removed. Differences in dodder biomass, cranberry yield, and berry weight were determined in plots that received zero, one, or two weed-removal events. Removing dodder one time per season reduced percentage of weed cover by more than 74% in both years. Impacts on dodder fresh and dry weight were not as discernible. Removal initially decreased dodder biomass, which remained 20% to 40% lower than the baseline values, but removal treatments did not differ statistically from the control. No additional benefits were obtained by removing the weed cover more than once. Biomass per berry was not affected by mechanical weed removal and fruit of marketable size were produced in the treated area. Substantial yield loss was largely attributable to the dodder infestations, but multiple removals may eventually reduce yield to levels below those associated with infestations alone.
, with the exception of turf and groundcover areas in which species selection is important to outcompete prevalent weeds in the area ( Busey, 2003 ). There are no “weed resistant” plants in the classical sense; however, when parasitic weeds are present
found to have a positive impact on management of parasitic weeds such as broomrape species ( Phelipanche aegyptiaca and P. ramosa ). Dor et al. (2010) demonstrated that resistant rootstock significantly reduced broomrape infections when grafted to