Submitted to: International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/9/2003
Publication Date: 1/1/2004
Citation: Rosskopf, E.N., Yandoc, C.B., Kadir, J.B., Charudattan, R. 2003. Evaluation of dactylaria higginsii as a component in an integrated approach to pest management. Abstracts of the XII International Symposium on Biological Control of Weeds, Canberra, Australia. p. 149. Interpretive Summary: Nutsedge remains as one of the most difficult challenges facing vegetable producers in the southeast U.S. The nutsedge biological control agent, Dactylaria higginsii was tested as a weed control tool in an integrated approach to pest management in tomatoes. Application of the fungus was used a fallow season treatment and then was combined with the fumigant 1,3-dichloropropene for fall production of tomatoes. There was no statistical difference in tomato yield attributable to fallow season treatments. Overall tomato yield from fumigant/fungus-treated plots was statistically similar to yields achieved in the fumigant/herbicide-treated plots.
Technical Abstract: Control of purple and yellow nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus and C. esculentus) continues to be ranked as one of the greatest problems facing growers in the southern United States. As mandated reductions of the use of methyl bromide are implemented, the acreage upon which nutsedge is considered a major production limitation increases. The competitive ability of nutsedge is significantly decreased with the application of the fungus, Dactylaria higginsii. A field experiment was designed to use the fungus as a component in an integrated approach to pest management as an alternative to methyl bromide fumigation. A tomato production system utilizing multiple treatment combinations was conducted using fallow season treatment as the main plot and production practice as the sub-plot treatment. Fallow season treatments of D. higginsii, glyphosate, and disk fallow were implemented from June-August, 2001 and a fall tomato crop was produced in the following season. Significant disease incidence was seen in the fungus-treated plots and no significant difference was found in tomato yield or nutsedge (Cyperus spp.) density in the following production season. There was no statistical difference in tomato yield attributable to fallow season treatments. Overall tomato yield from fumigant/fungus-treated plots was statistically similar to yields achieved in the fumigant/herbicide-treated plots.