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Title: Air-propelled abrasive grit can damage the perennial weed, quackgrass

item Forcella, Frank
item HUMBERG, DANIEL - South Dakota State University
item WORTMAN, SAMUEL - University Of Nebraska
item CLAY, SHARON - South Dakota State University

Submitted to: Canadian Journal of Plant Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/27/2017
Publication Date: 8/1/2018
Citation: Forcella, F., Humberg, D., Wortman, S.E., Clay, S.A. 2018. Air-propelled abrasive grit can damage the perennial weed, quackgrass. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 98(4):963-966.

Interpretive Summary: Organic crops typically suffer from weeds more than do conventional crops because of fewer approved weed control options for organic crops. Consequently, new forms of weed control are needed that are compatible with organic production restrictions. Abrasive grits propelled at high air speeds can control seedlings of annual weeds, but the effects of abrasive grits on perennial weeds are entirely unknown. We tested the effects of weekly corncob grit applications on quackgrass, which is one of the worst perennial weeds affecting organic crops in northern states. Two or more applications of corncob grit (at 116 psi air pressure) to 6"-tall tillers (aboveground stems) eliminated tiller regrowth and killed rhizomes (belowground stems). Thus, air-propelled abrasive grit may be a new tool to assist in controlling perennial weeds in organic crops. This information will be of interest to organic growers, organic crop advisors, extension educators, and weed researchers.

Technical Abstract: New techniques are needed to control quackgrass in organic crops. With greater than or equal to 2 applications of abrasive air-propelled (800 kPa) corncob grit to 15 cm tall quackgrass tillers, regrowth was minimal at 5 weeks after treatment. Abrasive grits may be effective tools to help manage perennial weeds in organic row crops.