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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vinegar as a contact herbicide: Application volume and adjuvants

item Webber, Charles - Chuck
item Shrefler, James

Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2006
Publication Date: 6/1/2006
Citation: Webber III, C.L., Shrefler, J.W. 2006. Vinegar as a contact herbicide: Application volume and adjuvants [abstract]. Southern Branch Meeting, American Society of Agronomy Abstracts. Paper No. 11.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Vinegar is a solution containing acetic acid, an organic acid produced though the natural fermentation of plant materials containing sugars. Vinegar has been identified as a potential organic herbicide, yet more information is needed to determine the influence of application volume and use of additives (adjuvants) on weed control. Acetic acid acts as a contact herbicide, injuring and killing plants by first destroying the cell membranes, which then causes the rapid desiccation of the plant tissues. Household vinegar typically contains 5% acetic acid. Vinegars with acetic acid concentrations of 11% or greater are available commercially, these products can burn the skin and cause serious to severe eye injury, including blindness. Field research was conducted in southeast Oklahoma (Lane, OK) in 2005 to determine the effect of application volumes and adjuvants on weed control efficacy using vinegar with a 20% acetic acid concentration. The factorial design included vinegar at three sprayer application volumes (20, 80, and 160 gpa), three adjuvants (none, orange oil, and non-ionic surfactant), and two weedy-checks. Visual weed cover and control ratings were collected throughout the experiment. The experiment had very high weed densities with multiple species of grass and broadleaf weeds. Vinegar was more effective in controlling broadleafs than in controlling grasses. When averaged across adjuvants (none, orange oil, and non-ionic surfactant) weed control increased as application volumes increased from 20 to 160 gpa.

Last Modified: 10/20/2017
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