In current and next-generation weed control technologies, sequential applications of contact and systemic herbicides for postemergence control of troublesome weeds are needed to mitigate the evolution of herbicide resistance. A clear understanding of the impact auxin herbicide symptomology has on Palmer amaranth groundcover will aid optimization of sequential herbicide applications. Field and greenhouse experiments were conducted in Fayetteville, AR, and a laboratory experiment was conducted in Lonoke, AR, in 2020 to evaluate changes in Palmer amaranth groundcover following an application of 2,4-D and dicamba with various nozzles, droplet sizes, and velocities. Field experiments utilized three nozzles: Extended Range (XR), Air Induction Extended Range (AIXR), and Turbo TeeJet® Induction (TTI), to assess the effect of spray droplet size on changes in Palmer amaranth groundcover. Nozzle did not affect Palmer amaranth groundcover when dicamba was applied. However, nozzle selection did impact groundcover when 2,4-D was applied; the following nozzle order XR > AIXR > TTI reduced Palmer amaranth groundcover the most in both site-years of the field experiment. This result (XR > AIXR > TTI) matches percent spray coverage data for 2,4-D and is inversely related to spray droplet size data. Rapid reductions of Palmer amaranth groundcover from 100% at time zero to 39.4% to 64.1% and 60.0% to 85.8% were observed 180 min after application in greenhouse and field experiments, respectively, regardless of herbicide or nozzle. In one site-year of the greenhouse and field experiments, regrowth of Palmer amaranth occurred 10,080 min (14 d) after an application of either 2,4-D or dicamba to larger than labeled weeds. In all experiments, complete reduction of live Palmer amaranth tissue was not observed 21 d after application with any herbicide or nozzle combination. Control of Palmer amaranth escapes with reduced groundcover may potentially lead to increased selection pressure on sequentially applied herbicides due to a reduction in spray solution contact with the targeted pest.
Nomenclature: 2; 4-D; dicamba; Palmer amaranth, Amaranthus palmeri (S.) Watson