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1 April 2012 Handheld Flame Cultivators as a Management Option for Woody Weeds
Katherine M. Ghantous, Hilary A. Sandler, Wesley R. Autio, Peter Jeranyama
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Dewberry is a weed found on cranberry bogs that spreads quickly, causes high yield loss, and has no effective management strategy. Finding options to manage damaging perennial weeds in a perennial crop system, such as cranberry, is key to long-term industry sustainability. This study presents preliminary data on the use of flame cultivation (FC) in cranberry weed management. Utilizing weeds transplanted from commercial cranberry farms to a prepared area at the UMass Cranberry Station, we evaluated three handheld propane-fueled FC instruments: infrared torch, open flame torch, and an infrared torch with a spike. A single, midsummer exposure (zero, low, medium, or high duration) with each FC was tested. The industry standard of using a single wipe application of an herbicide solution (111 g L−1 ae glyphosate, isopropylamine salt) was also included in the evaluation. Dewberry shoot, root, and total biomass decreased linearly as exposure increased; the effect of FC tool type was not significant. Data indicated that, regardless of the specific torch utilized, spot treatment with FC reduced dewberry biomass. The results of this exploratory study suggest that FC may offer an alternative technique for managing woody weeds and that further research is warranted.

Nomenclature: Glyphosate; dewberry, Rubus spp.; cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon Ait.

Weed Science Society of America
Katherine M. Ghantous, Hilary A. Sandler, Wesley R. Autio, and Peter Jeranyama "Handheld Flame Cultivators as a Management Option for Woody Weeds," Weed Technology 26(2), 371-375, (1 April 2012).
Received: 20 April 2011; Accepted: 1 November 2011; Published: 1 April 2012

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