Integration of two or more methods in a weed control strategy may produce a positive interaction. In this study, sequential applications of sublethal rates of 2,4-D and the plant pathogen Sclerotinia minor were assessed for integrated control of common dandelion. S. minor was prepared as a granular treatment of fungal-colonized barley grits. Treatments of 2,4-D (25 or 50% of the recommended field rate) and S. minor treatments (20, 40, or 60 g m–2 rate) were applied alone or sequentially with a 3 wk interval. Fourteen days after inoculation (DAI), sequential applications of either rate of 2,4-D with 40 or 60 g m–2 of S. minor caused greater damage than either treatment alone (P = 0.05). By 21 and 28 DAI, control from 60 g m–2 of S. minor alone was equivalent to any of the sequential treatments (P = 0.05). At all assessment times, the combination of either rate of 2,4-D and 20 or 40 g m–2 of S. minor caused damage equivalent to or greater than that caused by 60 g m–2 of S. minor alone (P = 0.05). According to Colby's test for interactions, 19 of 24 assessments of the sequential treatments were synergistic. Therefore, sequential treatments of sublethal rates of 2,4-D and S. minor can interact positively to increase damage. This synergistic interaction may reduce the rate of either component required for adequate levels of control, possibly decreasing the cost or volume of use of herbicides in traditional weed control strategies.
Nomenclature: 2,4-D; barley, Hordeum vulgare; common dandelion, Taraxacum officinale Weber TAROF.