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1 June 2015 Efficacy and Economics of Herbicide Programs Compared to Methyl Bromide for Weed Control in Polyethylene-Mulched Bell Pepper
Pratap Devkota, Jason K. Norsworthy, Ron Rainey
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Abstract

In the absence of an effective alternative to methyl bromide (MeBr), weeds cause a significant economic loss in bell pepper production. A study was conducted to evaluate the efficacy and economics of PRE followed by (fb) POST-directed (POST-DIR) herbicide programs compared with MeBr for weed control in low-density polyethylene (LDPE) mulched bell pepper production. Imazosulfuron at 0.112, 0.224, and 0.336 kg ai ha−1 and S-metolachlor at 1.6 kg ai ha−1 were PRE-applied fb POST-DIR applied mixture of trifloxysulfuron halosulfuron at 0.008 and 0.027 kg ai ha−1, respectively, at 4 wk after transplanting (WATP). The standard MeBr treatment (67 and 33% mixture of MeBr chloropicrin) was applied at 390 kg ai ha−1. In addition, a weed-free (hand weeding) and a non-treated control were used for comparison. S-metolachlor-containing herbicide program controlled Palmer amaranth ≥ 90%, large crabgrass ≥ 78%, and yellow nutsedge ≥ 90%, which were comparable to MeBr. After POST-DIR herbicide application, bell pepper was injured ≥ 17% with the S-metolachlor-containing herbicide program at 6 WATP; however, the crop later recovered. Marketable bell pepper yield in plots treated with S-metolachlor (≥ 29.9 ton ha−1) was comparable to those treated with MeBr. Economic evaluation of the imazosulfuron herbicide programs demonstrated the loss of ≥ $7,300 ha−1. Conversely, the S-metolachlor-containing herbicide program was profitable with a net return of $9,912 ha−1. In addition, the S-metolachlor herbicide program generated a net profit of $173 ha−1 compared to the MeBr application. Therefore, PRE-applied S-metolachlor fb POST-DIR applied trifloxysulfuron halosulfuron is a potential alternative to MeBr for weed management in LDPE-mulched bell pepper production given the weed spectrum evaluated in this study.

Nomenclature: Halosulfuron; imazosulfuron; methyl bromide (MeBr); S-metolachlor; trifloxysulfuron; large crabgrass, Digitaria sanguinalis (L.) Scop. DIGSA; Palmer amaranth, Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats. AMAPA; yellow nutsedge, Cyperus esculentus L. CYPES; bell pepper, Capsicum annum L. ‘Heritage'.

En ausencia de una alternativa efectiva a methyl bromide (MeBr), las malezas causan pérdidas económicas significativas en la producción de pimentón. Se realizó un estudio para evaluar la eficacia y los parámetros económicos de programas de herbicidas PRE seguidos de (fb) POST-dirigido (POST-DIR) y compararlos con MeBr para el control de malezas en coberturas de polyethylene de baja densidad (LDPE) en la producción de pimentón. Imazosulfuron a 0.112, 0.224, y 0.336 kg ai ha−1 and S-metolachlor a 1.6 kg ai ha−1 fueron aplicados PRE fb una mezcla de trifloxysulfuron halosulfuron a 0.008 y 0.027 kg ai ha−1 aplicados POST-DIR, respectivamente, a 4 semanas después del trasplante (WATP). El tratamiento estándar con MeBr (mezcla de MeBr chloropicrin a 67 y 33%) fue aplicado a 390 kg ai ha−1. Adicionalmente, un testigo libre de malezas (deshierba manual) y un testigo sin tratamiento fueron usados para fines de comparación. El programa de herbicidas que contenía S-metolachlor controló Amaranthus palmeri ≥ 90%, Digitaria sanguinalis ≥ 78%, y Cyperus esculentus ≥ 90%, lo que fue comparable a MeBr. Después de la aplicación POST-DIR de herbicidas, el pimentón sufrió daño ≥ 17% con el programa de herbicidas que contenía S-metolachlor, a 6 WATP, aunque el cultivo se recuperó posteriormente. En par

Pratap Devkota, Jason K. Norsworthy, and Ron Rainey "Efficacy and Economics of Herbicide Programs Compared to Methyl Bromide for Weed Control in Polyethylene-Mulched Bell Pepper," Weed Technology 29(2), 284-297, (1 June 2015). https://doi.org/10.1614/WT-D-14-00116.1
Received: 21 September 2014; Accepted: 1 February 2015; Published: 1 June 2015
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KEYWORDS
Economics of plasticulture bell pepper
Herbicide programs
low-density polyethylene (LDPE) mulch
methyl bromide alternative
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