Volunteer potato is becoming increasingly detrimental in potato production regions. We assessed methods to manage the weed in field corn with herbicides and arthropod herbivory. In greenhouse trials, new tuber production was reduced at least 95% in ‘Ranger Russet’, ‘Russet Burbank’, ‘Russet Norkotah’, and ‘Shepody’ potato varieties by mesotrione applied at 0.11 kg/ha. In field studies conducted near Paterson, WA, a single application of mesotrione at 0.07 or 0.11 kg/ha applied at the time of tuber initiation (mid-postemergence [MPOST]) controlled potato top growth 96 to 98% in 2002 and 2003. Mesotrione applied at earlier stages of potato growth, preemergence or early postemergence, controlled potatoes less than mesotrione applied MPOST. All herbicide treatments prevented yield loss in field corn compared with nontreated checks. Mesotrione reduced new potato tubers and tuber weight more than any other herbicide. Herbivory of volunteer potato by Colorado potato beetle reduced tuber number 21% and tuber density 23% in the absence of herbicides and appeared to further suppress the weed in combination with herbicides. Whereas treatments containing mesotrione were most effective against volunteer potato, arthropod herbivory supplemented weed suppression and may be an important component in reduced or low-input weed management systems.
Nomenclature: Mesotrione; volunteer potato, Solanum tuberosum L. ‘Ranger Russet’, ‘Russet Burbank’, ‘Russet Norkotah’, ‘Shepody’; field corn, Zea mays L.; Colorado potato beetle, Leptinotarsa decemlineata Say.
Additional index words: Arthropod herbivory, biological weed control, groundkeeper (volunteer potato), integrated weed management.
Abbreviations: CPB, Colorado potato beetle; EPOST, early postemergence; IWM, integrated weed management; LPOST, late postemergence; MPOST, mid-postemergence; POST, postemergence; PRE, preemergence; WAT, weeks after treatment.