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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Research Project #438984

Research Project: Strategies for Controlling Miscanthus x Giganteas and Evaluating Potential Spread on the Delmarva Peninsula

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-13610-030-029-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 1, 2020
End Date: Sep 30, 2023

Overall goal: Evaluate the invasiveness risk of switchgrass and Miscanthus including testing of suitable control methods for termination of Miscanthus stands. 1. The first objective will evaluate integrated tactics for terminating Miscanthus in agronomic fields (Table 1). The study will be conducted on a grower field with a previously established Miscanthus stand. Miscanthus plants will be mowed in early spring or late summer and treated with single or sequential applications of glyphosate when plants regrow to 30 cm in height. Comparison treatments of sequential mowing and deep tillage with and without herbicides will also be included. Treatments will be applied with three replicates, using a total area of ½ acre total. This experiment will be implemented on two farms (Denton, Cambrigde) for two years (2020-21 and 2021-22). 2. The second objective will evaluate herbicides for controlling escaped patches of Miscanthus in riparian areas. The study will be conducted at the University of Maryland Wye Research and Education Center. Miscanthus plants will be grown from rhizomes transplanted into 5-gallon pots. Treatments will consist of two rates of imazapyr, two rates of glyphosate, or combinations of glyphosate plus imazapyr (Table 2), with four replications of each treatment. Herbicides will be applied 4 months after planting. The experiment will be maintained using 5-gallon pots on landscape fabric, with drip irrigation, and will be conducted for two years with plantings in (2020-21 and 2021-22).

On-farm termination trials will be used to evaluate the suitability of chemical and/or mechanical methods for termination of established Miscanthus plantations, using chemicals listed for usage on agricultural fields. On-station pot trials will be used to evaluate the use of chemicals listed for usage in near-stream and aquatic areas, simulating the control of Miscanthus that may have escaped from field edge to the riparian zone. All treatments will be applied in a replicated block design and will be repeated for two years. For first objective, experimental plots will be established to assess approaches to managing Miscanthus x giganteas in agronomic fields using different rates and timing of glyphosate application and different tillage treatments.