Submitted to: Weed Technology Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: October 21, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: Bell peppers are usually grown in beds fumigated with methyl bromide (MB) and mulched with black polyethylene. MB effectively controls most weeds, including yellow nutsedge (YNS). There is concern among pepper growers that with the impending loss of MB (MB use as a soil fumigant will be anned in 2001), YNS will become unmanageable in pepper fields, because it is not effectively controlled by pepper herbicides, and YNS shoot tips can penetrate polyethylene mulch. YNS is a host of root-knot nematode, and integrated management systems for the nematode will not be effective if YNS is not controlled. Bentazon effectively controls yellow nutsedge, but some pepper cultivars are susceptible to the herbicide. A greenhouse study was conducted to assess bentazon tolerance in nine important bell pepper cultivars. The most tolerant cultivars (King Arthur, PR 9200-8 and Orobell) were not severely injured by bentazon at up to 2 kg/ha (twice the normal use rate), but the most susceptible cultivars (Camelot, Summer Swee and Boynton Bell) were severely injured by 1 kg/ha bentazon. These results indicate that bentazon can be used safely on the most tolerant cultivars, but the most susceptible cultivars may sustain unacceptable levels of injury. In a field study, the King Arthur and its F2 progeny were similar in bentazon tolerance, indicating that both inbred parents used to produce the hybrid were bentazon tolerant.
Technical Abstract: A greenhouse experiment was used to assess the bentazon response of nine commercial bell pepper cultivars currently grown in the southeastern U. S. Variability in bentazon tolerance was observed among the cultivars. The most tolerant, 'King Arthur', 'PR-9200-8', and 'Orobell' were not severely injured and their growth was not reduced by 2 kg/ha bentzaon. The more susceptible cultivars, 'Summer Sweet 860', 'Boynton Bell', and 'Camelot' were severely injured and their shoot weights were reduced by 1.0 kg/ha bentazon. Other cultivars were intermediate in bentazon response. A field experiment used to compare the bentazon response of the tolerant hybrid cultivar 'King Arthur' with its F2 progeny indicated they were similar in bentazon tolerance, and there was no genetic segregation for tolerance in the F2 population. These results indicate that bentazon may be safely used for weed control in the most tolerant bell pepper cultivars.