To address grower concerns that repeated use of dichlobenil could negatively affect cranberry productivity, field studies were conducted at two commercial farms in either high weed density (HW) or low weed density (LW) areas. Data from 4 yr of repeat annual applications of 0, 1.8, and 4.5 kg ai/ha dichlobenil indicated minimal negative impact on cranberry vines. Herbicide application did not affect upright productivity, leaf biomass production, percent fruit set, or other yield parameters adversely; in addition, no improvement in these parameters was noted. Although the interaction of herbicide application with weed density on cranberry root length varied with sampling date, no consistent trend (adverse or positive) was seen. The presence of weeds, rather than herbicide application, was the important determinant of yield. Vines in LW areas produced more marketable fruit and had higher percentage of fruit set than vines growing in HW areas. Repeat annual applications of dichlobenil on commercial cranberry beds may be considered as part of a viable integrated weed management program with no adverse effect on crop growth or yield.
Nomenclature: Dichlobenil; cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.
Additional index words: Herbicides, root length, vegetation survey, weed community.
Abbreviations: HW, high weed density; LW, low weed density.