INTEGRATED CROP, SOIL, AND WATER MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF SUGARCANE FOR BIOENERGY FEEDSTOCK
Location: Sugarcane Research Unit
Title: Weed control options for organically grown vine crops
Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 5, 2011
Publication Date: September 1, 2011
Citation: Shrefler, J.W., Taylor, M.J., Roberts, B.W., Webber III, C.L. 2011. Weed control options for organically grown vine crops [abstract]. In: Abstracts of Presentations from the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Horticulture Science - Southern Region, February 5-7, 2011, Corpus Christi, Texas. Supplement to HortScience. 46(9):S27.
Organic melon production requires effective weed management practices for achieving acceptable crop yield and quality. Research conducted in 2010 in southeastern Oklahoma (Lane, OK) compared several possible weed management strategies for cantaloupe. Treatments included black plastic mulch, black woven landscape fabric, cultivation, flaming, Greenmatch (55% d-limonene) herbicide as postemergence directed spray, corn gluten meal applied in a band alongside of the row, and Matran (50% clove leaf oil) herbicide as postemergence directed spray. Weeds present included smooth crabgrass [Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb.) Schreb. ex Muhl.], cutleaf groundcherry (Physalis angulata L.), piny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus L.), and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.). At the three-leaf crop stage, crop vigor was assessed and weed populations determined. Yellow nutsedge populations were determined again, 5 weeks later. Crop vigor was greatest in the mulch, landscape fabric, and corn gluten meal treatments (85% to 90%) and ranged from 68% to 80% for other treatments. The mulch and landscape fabric treatments reduced all weed species populations significantly. Melons were harvested 4 times over a 3-week period. Combined marketable yields across harvests ranged from 4500 to 8000 fruit per acre but did not differ across treatments. At the first harvest, yields were significantly greater in the mulch and fabric treatments, likely due to the soil warming effects of these treatments. Yields of largest melons (>6.5-inch diameter) were lowest in the mulch and landscape fabric treatments. In summary, mulch and landscape fabric treatments provided the greatest weed prevention, early crop vigor, and early yields.