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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Auburn, Alabama » Soil Dynamics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #290875

Title: Crop circles and organic weed control

item Price, Andrew
item Kornecki, Ted

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/15/2013
Publication Date: 2/15/2013
Citation: Price, A.J., Kornecki, T.S. 2013. Crop circles and organic weed control. Southern Weed Science Society. CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Organic vegetable production relies on integrated weed control measures to attain satisfactory weed control. An experiment was established in autumn 2010 and 2011 at the North Alabama Horticulture Experiment Station, Cullman, AL. Plot size at both locations was 2.5 by 6 m containing a single row of tomatoes with 0.5 m spacing between plants. The three winter cover crops cereal rye [(Secale cereale L.) cv Elbon], crimson clover [(Trifolium incarnatum L.) cv AU Robin] and turnip (Brassica rapa L. subsp. rapa cv Civastro)] were compared to black polythene mulch for their weed suppressive potential and effect on yield and grade of fresh market tomatoes. In addition, organic weed control treatments consisting on corn gluten applied PRE alone, flaming, hand weeding, or corn gluten applied PRE followed by flaming were compared. A standard herbicide regime consisting of a PRE application of S-metolachlor (1.87 kg a.i./ha) followed by an EPOST metribuzin (0.56 kg a.i./ha) application, followed by a LPOST application of clethodim (0.28 kg a.i./ha) was also included for comparison. Results indicate that early smooth pigweed, crabgrass, and yellow nutsedge were adequately control in clover, plastic and rye systems when corn gluten followed by hand weeding was utilized compared to the herbicide standard. Marketable organic yield was lowest in systems that utilized flaming and all organic systems yielded less compared to the conventional herbicide treatment in each system likely due to mid-season weed interference.