Submitted to: Weed Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2004
Publication Date: 6/16/2005
Citation: Boydston, R.A., Williams, M. 2005. Managing volunteer potato (solanum tuberosum) in field corn with mesotrione and arthropod herbivory. Weed Technology. 19:443-450.
Interpretive Summary: Managing volunteer potato is a major production problem in potato growing regions with mild winters. A new herbicide, mesotrione, was tested alone and in combination with Colorado potato beetle, to manage volunteer potato in field corn. In greenhouse trials, mesotrione reduced new tuber production 95% or more in the four major potato varieties grown in the Pacific Northwest, 'Ranger Russet', 'Russet Burbank', 'Russet Norkotah', and 'Shepody'. In field studies a single application of mesotrione applied at the time of volunteer potato tuber initiation gave excellent control of volunteer potato and prevented yield loss in field corn from potato competition. Mesotrione applied at earlier stages of potato growth was less effective. Mesotrione reduced the number of new potato tubers and tuber weight more than any other herbicide tested. Colorado potato beetle reduced tuber number 21% and tuber density 23% when herbicides were not used, and appeared to further suppress volunteer potato when used in combination with herbicides. Colorado potato beetle feeding on potato foliage supplemented herbicide control and managing Colorado potato beetle populations in rotation crops may be an important component in integrated volunteer potato management.
Technical Abstract: Volunteer potato is becoming increasingly detrimental in potato production regions. We assessed methods to manage the weed in field corn with herbicides and arthropod herbivory. In greenhouse trials, new tuber production was reduced at least 95% in 'Ranger Russet', 'Russet Burbank', 'Russet Norkotah', and 'Shepody' potato varieties by mesotrione applied at 0.11 kg/ha. In field studies conducted near Paterson, WA a single application of mesotrione at 0.07 or 0.11kg/ha applied at the time of tuber initiation (MPOST) controlled potato top growth 96 to 98% in 2002 and 2003. Mesotrione applied at earlier stages of potato growth, preemergence (PRE) or early postemergence (EPOST), controlled potatoes less than mesotrione applied MPOST. All herbicide treatments prevented yield loss in field corn compared to nontreated checks. Mesotrione reduced new potato tubers and tuber weight more than any other herbicide. Herbivory of volunteer potato by Colorado potato beetle reduced tuber number 21% and tuber density 23% in the absence of herbicides, and appeared to further suppress the weed in combination with herbicides. While treatments containing mesotrione were most effective against volunteer potato, arthropod herbivory supplemented weed suppression and may be an important component in reduced- or low-input weed management systems.