Residual herbicides are routinely applied to control troublesome weeds in pumpkin production. Fluridone and acetochlor, Groups 12 and 15 herbicides, respectively, provide broad-spectrum PRE weed control. Field research was conducted in Virginia and New Jersey to evaluate pumpkin tolerance and weed control to PRE herbicides. Treatments consisted of fomesafen at two rates, ethalfluralin, clomazone, halosulfuron, fluridone, S-metolachlor, acetochlor emulsifiable concentrate (EC), acetochlor microencapsulated (ME), and no herbicide. At one site, fluridone, acetochlor EC, acetochlor ME, and halosulfuron injured pumpkin 81%, 39%, 34%, and 35%, respectively, at 14 d after planting (DAP); crop injury at the second site was 40%, 8%, 19%, and 33%, respectively. Differences in injury between the two sites may have been due to the amount and timing of rainfall after herbicides were applied. Fluridone provided 91% control of ivyleaf morningglory and 100% control of common ragweed at 28 DAP. Acetochlor EC controlled redroot pigweed 100%. Pumpkin treated with S-metolachlor produced the most yield (10,764 fruits ha–1) despite broadcasting over the planted row; labeling requires a directed application to row-middles. A separate study specifically evaluated fluridone applied PRE at 42, 84, 126, 168, 252, 336, and 672 g ai ha–1. Fluridone resulted in pumpkin injury ≥95% when applied at rates of ≥168 g ai ha–1; significant yield loss was noted when the herbicide was applied at rates >42 g ai ha–1. We concluded that fluridone and acetochlor formulations are unacceptable candidates for pumpkin production.
Nomenclature: Acetochlor; clomazone; ethalfluralin; fomesafen; fluridone; halosulfuron; Smetolachlor; common ragweed; Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.; ivyleaf morningglory, Ipomoea hederacea Jacq.; redroot pigweed, Amaranthus retroflexus L.; pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo L.