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herbicides that are derived from natural sources. Some are derived from essential oils originating from plants ( Dayan et al., 2009 ; Gaskell et al., 2000 ; Tworkoski, 2002 ). These are postemergence herbicides that are sprayable, nonsystemic, and generally

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derived from natural sources. Some are derived from essential oils originating from plants ( Dayan et al., 2009 ; Gaskell et al., 2000 ; Tworkoski, 2002 ). These herbicides are sprayable, applied postemergence, nonsystemic, and tend to be nonselective

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Hameln and Moudry ( Lucas, 2011 ). Fig. 1. Natural area completely invaded by fountain grass and the site of the experiment described in this article. Plants have slightly darker foliage and darker inflorescence than the straight species, and they

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needed to identify ways for managers to maintain water resources effectively without the use of synthetic herbicides. “Naturalherbicides are used extensively by home gardeners, organic farmers, and others who wish to reduce their use of synthetic

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aquatic herbicide use have driven efforts to find new ways for managers to practice aquatic weed control while reducing reliance on synthetic herbicides. These efforts include exploring the effects of “naturalherbicides that are sometimes used in home

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It has previously been reported that a byproduct of the corn (Zea mays L.) wet-milling process, corn gluten meal, has potential as a natural preemergence herbicide for use in turf and certain horticultural crops. In 1993, two additional patents were issued on the technology. The first is on the use of hydrolyzed proteins from corn and other grains that were shown to have higher levels of herbicidal activity than the corn gluten meal. These materials are water soluble and can be sprayed on the soils surface. The second patent was on 5 dipeptides extracted from the hydrolyzed corn gluten meal. These dipeptides were shown to have the same type of biological activity observed when the corn gluten meal and the hydrolyzed meal are applied to the soil. The possible use of the hydrolyzed grains and the dipeptides as natural preemergence herbicides in horticultural crops will be discussed.

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In several northeastern USDA Low-Input Sustainable Agriculture (LISA) projects, we compared natural (hay-straw, wood-chips, recycled newspaper pulp) and synthetic (polypropylene films and polyester fabrics) mulch materials with mowed sodgrass, tillage, and residual herbicides, as orchard groundcover management systems (GMS). Treatments were applied in 2m-wide strips under newly planted apple (Malus domestica cvs. Liberty, Empire, Freedom. and others) trees on MARK rootstock, planted at 3 by 5m spacing, in 1990. Edaphic, economic, tree nutritional and fruit yield impacts of these GMS were evaluated for four years in five Hudson Valley orchards. All the mulches cost more to establish and maintain ($450 to 4500/ha) than mowed sod ($150/ha), tillage ($120/ha), or residual herbicide ($50/ha) systems. There were few differences in soil water or nutrient availability, leaf nutrient content, tree growth or fruit yield in the mulch systems compared with herbicide or tillage GMS. Meadow voles (Microtus spp.) caused considerable damage to trees in the synthetic and straw mulches, despite the use of trunk guards. Wood-chips were the most enduring, least expensive, and most effective natural mulch. There were insufficient short-term benefits to offset the greater costs of synthetic mulch fabrics or films, in comparison with conventional herbicide snip systems for orchard floor management.

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Natural (hay, wood chips, recycled paper pulp) and synthetic (polypropylene film and polyester fabric) mulches were compared with mechanical tillage and residual herbicides as orchard groundcover management systems (GMSS). In two New York orchards-the Clarke farm and Hudson Valley Lab (HVL—GMSS were applied from 1990 to 1993 in 1.8-m-wide strips under newly planted apple (Malus domestica; `Liberty', `Empire', `Freedom', and advanced numbered selections from the disease-resistant apple breeding program at Geneva, N.Y.) trees. GMS impacts on soil fertility, tree nutrition and growth, yields, crop value, and vole (Microtus spp.) populations were evaluated. After 3 years at the Clarke orchard, extractable NO3, Mn, Fe, B, and Zn concentrations were greater in soil with herbicides than synthetic mulches; soil K and P concentrations were greater with herbicides and wood chips than synthetic mulches. At the HVL orchard, topsoil NO3, K, and Mg concentrations were greater with hay mulch than herbicides or other mulches; Mg, Fe, and B concentrations were lower in soil with wood chips than other GMSs. Soil organic matter content was not affected by GMS. Apple leaf N, K, Cu, and Zn concentrations were greater with herbicides, hay mulch, and polypropylene mulch than cultivation or recycled paper mulch at the HVL orchard during hot, dry Summer 1991. Despite transient differences among GMSS during the initial years, after 4 years of treatments there were no consistent GMS trends in cumulative tree growth or gross yields. The higher establishment and maintenance costs of several mulches were offset by their prolonged efficacy over successive years; crop market values from 1992 to 1994 were considerably greater for trees with polypropylene film, polyester fabric, and hay mulches than herbicides, cultivation, or other mulches. Voles caused more serious damage to trees in synthetic and hay mulches, despite the use of mesh trunk guards and rodenticide bait.

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Field plots of four production systems of `Tristar' dayneutral and `Earliglow' Junebearing strawberry (Fragaria xananassa Duch.) were established in 1993. Productions systems included conventional practices (CONV), best-management practices including integrated crop management (ICM), organic practices using corn gluten meal, a natural weed control product, (ORG-CGM), and organic practices using a natural turkey manure product (ORG-TM). `Earliglow' plants grown with ORG-CGM showed the highest number of runners and total vegetative biomass. Plots with CONV and ICM systems using standard herbicide treatments had lower total weed numbers (11 and 18, respectively) than ORG-CGM (63) and ORG-TM (58). `Tristar' plant growth, yield and berry number were reduced when plants were grown under straw mulch in ORG-CGM and ORG-TM compared to CONV and ICM plots with polyethylene mulch.

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Abstract

Extension workers often identify production, marketing, managerial, or educational constraints that reduce agricultural efficiencies. In Oregon, problems expressed by growers of several horticultural crops appeared to have a common soil management component. Some Christmas tree growers, for example, complained about poor vigor and growth of 2nd- or 3rd-cycle trees that were planted immediately after harvest of the previous crop. Growers reasoned that poor growth (and reduced marketability) might be caused by increasing concentrations of herbicide residues that resulted from yearly applications of atrazine or hexazinone, rather than soil erosion and related soil management problems. Grape producers and lily bulb growers were concerned about soil erosion, since crops were planted parallel to the slope. Frequent mechanical harvesting of brambles led to growers’ fears of soil compaction, while fruit growers noted slower rates of water infiltration in orchards where natural vegetation is managed with a flail compared to areas interplanted with a sod.

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