Submitted to: American Journal of Plant Sciences
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/6/2015
Publication Date: 4/13/2015
Citation: Weaver, M.A., Hoagland, R.E., Boyette, C.D. 2015. Kudzu response to foliar applied herbicides. American Journal of Plant Sciences. 6(7):856-863. doi.org/10.4236/ajps.2015.67093.
Interpretive Summary: Kudzu is an exotic invasive woody vine that is among the ecologically devastating and economically significant weeds in the southeastern United States. Herbicide application is presently the most feasible method for halting the spread of kudzu and for reclaiming kudzu-infested lands, but some recommended herbicides have serious restrictions due to non-target toxicity, environmental persistence and off-site movement. Field trials on kudzu-infested lands in Mississippi were conducted to determine the effectiveness of selective, lower use-rate herbicides in reducing the biomass of kudzu. The aboveground kudzu density was measured in the season of herbicide application and the following year. The same herbicides were re-applied and the effectiveness was reassessed the following year. The greatest kudzu suppression was achieved with aminopyralid, fluroxypyr, metsulfuron or triclopyr. Glyphosate, glufosinate and mesotrione did not provide adaquate kudzu suppression. Kudzu control can be realized through application of selective herbicides if the effort is maintained for multiple years.
Technical Abstract: Chemical control is presently the most cost-effective means to control kudzu, however, many of the herbicides labeled for kudzu control have substantial non-target toxicity, poor selectivity, high cost, long soil persistence, high soil mobility and / or high use rates. The present study evaluated other herbicides for efficacy in suppressing aboveground kudzu biomass in replicated field trials at three sites over two years. A single application of aminopyralid, triclopyr or metsulfuron resulted in at least 90 % kudzu suppression in the following season at two locations. After a second year of treatment those herbicides and fluroxypyr produced at least 90 % kudzu suppression, however, 100 % kudzu control was reached on only a few test plots. Glyphosate, glufosinate and mesotrione were less effective in controlling kudzu. Given the rapid growth potential of kudzu complete eradication should be pursued. None of the herbicides evaluated here could reliably achieve eradication of mature kudzu with two applications, so additional control efforts would be required