Integrated Kudzu Control on Mississippi Roadsides
Biological Control of Pests Research Unit
2010 Annual Report
1a.Objectives (from AD-416)
The proposed research is to aggressively deploy and integrate multiple management techniques and monitor the transition of the floral communities at the test sites. Preliminary data collected over two years at Eden and Mound Bayou, MS, has supported the hypothesis that late-season mowing and selective herbicides with good translocation and soil uptake can provide a high level of kudzu control. It is proposed that these approaches integrated and extended by subsequent spot-treatments of kudzu escapes/survivors with the bioherbicide M. verrucaria and introduce competing vegetation to suppress the kudzu while concomitantly providing erosion control and preventing the introduction of additional invasive species, such as cogongrass.
1b.Approach (from AD-416)
We propose to evaluate an intense, rapid, integrated kudzu eradication program at 4 locations in Mississippi. Through application of herbicidal and suppressive approaches it may be possible to reduce the time needed to achieve eradication. Use of herbicides with high selectivity and a biological control agent will allow for simultaneous re-establishment of desirable vegetation, thus providing more long-lasting kudzu exclusion.
Kudzu is an exotic invasive weed that causes several public safety hazards by overgrowing roadside signs, obscuring line-of-sight, and is an maintenance burden. Routine control efforts only suppress kudzu and ongoing attention is required. In cooperative work with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, we are evaluating new, safer, less-expensive herbicides, biological control and mechanical control of kudzu. Six herbicides and three mechanical methods, three biocontrol programs and six integrated control systems are under evaluation at five sites in Mississippi. By combining these approaches a greater degree of kudzu control can be achieved in a cost-effective and environmentally responsible manner. The results of this cooperative research raise awareness of the need to control kudzu and the practical methods to achieve localized eradication.