Field trials were conducted at three California locations near Oxnard, Salinas, and Watsonville from 2002 to 2006 to evaluate broadleaf weed control and tolerance of strawberry to oxyfluorfen. Oxyfluorfen applied at 0.3 and 0.6 kg/ha before strawberry transplanting reduced densities of broadleaf weeds such as California burclover, hairy nightshade, little mallow, shepherd's-purse, and yellow sweetclover 70 to 100% compared with nontreated plots but did not control horseweed. Oxyfluorfen application resulted in 9% and 19% greater visible injury to strawberry for the two rates, respectively, compared with nontreated plants in 1 yr but did not reduce strawberry yield. After oxyfluorfen application at 0.6 kg/ha, strawberry plants had 5 to 48% more injury than nontreated plants in subsequent years but early-season yields were similar. Hand-weeding time was reduced 30 to 50% compared with nontreated plots regardless of oxyfluorfen rate. Both water-based and solvent-carrier formulations of oxyfluorfen resulted in similar weed control, strawberry injury, and fruit yield. Plastic mulch installation after oxyfluorfen application but before planting reduced injury to strawberry more than 50% compared with nonmulched beds. Oxyfluorfen applied 30 d before strawberry transplanting had similar crop injury and yield to applications made 15 and 7 d before planting. These results suggest that oxyfluorfen can be used safely in California plasticulture strawberry production for control of common weed species and to reduce labor inputs associated with hand weeding.
Nomenclature: Oxyfluorfen; California burclover, Medicago polymorpha L. MEDPO;hairy nightshade, Solanum physalifolium Rusby SOLSA; horseweed, Conyza canadensis L. ERICA; little mallow, Malva parviflora L. MALPA; shepherd's-purse, Capsella bursa-pastoris L. CAPBP; yellow sweetclover, Melilotus officinalis L. MEUOF;strawberry, Fragaria×ananassa