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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: ORGANIC AND REDUCED INPUT FRESH MARKET SPECIALTY CROP PRODUCTION SYSTEMS FOR THE SOUTHERN GREAT PLAINS Title: Weed management options for organic cantaloupe production

Authors
item Webber, Charles
item Taylor, Merritt -
item Roberts, B -

Submitted to: Weed Science Society of America Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 24, 2011
Publication Date: August 31, 2011
Citation: Webber III, C.L., Taylor, M.J., Roberts, B.W. 2011. Weed management options for organic cantaloupe production [abstract]. Weed Science Society of America Meeting, February 7-10, 2011, Portland, Oregon. Available: http://wssaabstracts.com/public/4/proceedings.html.

Technical Abstract: Organic cantaloupe producers need weed control practices that will enable production of suitable yields of a quality crop. Research was conducted in 2010 in southeast Oklahoma (Atoka County, Lane, OK) to compare several possible weed management strategies for growing cantaloupe. Treatments included black plastic mulch, black woven landscape fabric, cultivation, flaming, Greenmatch herbicide as a directed spray, corn gluten meal applied in a band along side of the row, and Matran herbicide applied as a directed spray. The primary weeds included smooth crabgrass (Digitaria ischaemum (Schreb.) Schreb. ex Muhl.), cutleaf groundcherry (Physalis angulata L.), and spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus L.) and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus L.). At the 3 leaf crop stage vigor was assessed and all weed species were counted in all plots. Yellow nutsedge was counted a second time 5 weeks later. Crop vigor was greatest in 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 significantly reduced populations of all weed species significantly. Melons were harvested 4 times over a three week period. Combined marketable yields across harvests ranged from 4500 to 8000 fruit/acre. At the first harvest, yields were significantly greater in the mulch and fabric treatments, likely due to soil warming effects of these treatments. Mulch and landscape fabric treatments provided best weed control, best early crop vigor and greatest early yields.

Last Modified: 8/21/2014
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