Title: Hand-held flame cultivators for spot treatment control of soft rush (Juncus effusus)

Abstract: Soft rush is a perennial plant found in or along water ditches on cranberry farms that can impede drainage as well as water movement within production areas, and can easily spread into production areas. Established tussocks are not substantially affected by chemical controls and proximity to water resources limits herbicide application. The efficacy of flame cultivation (FC) with hand-held tools is being evaluated for efficacy to manage perennial weeds in cranberry production. Two separate studies were conducted on a Massachusetts cranberry farm to evaluate the effectiveness of FC for rush control. A single exposure was made in June with an open flame (OF), infrared (IR), or infrared with a metal spike (IRS) FC tool at four different exposure durations. Stem number, biomass, and percentage flowering stems decreased linearly for plants treated with the IR torch. For plants treated with OF, the number of stems decreased linearly, while biomass and percentage flowering stems decreased quadratically as exposure duration increased. Although IR reduced rush growth, OF required shorter exposure durations (8 s versus 60 s) to achieve similar results. The IRS tool was not effective for controlling rushes. A second study compared the efficacy of a single clipping event, a single, medium exposure of OF, OF immediately followed by (fb) clipping, or clipping immediately fb OF. All treatments reduced the mean number of stems, biomass and percentage of flowering stems per tussock compared to the nontreated control but the clipping fb FC treatment reduced the number of stems more than clipping alone. Future experiments on FC use for rush control in cranberry production should explore potential improvement with multiple treatments within a single season as well as repeated annual applications of treatments. [Katherine M. Ghantous & Hilary A. Sandler (2015). Hand-held Flame Cultivators for Spot Treatment Control of Soft Rush (Juncus effusus). Weed Technology, on-line n.d.] Comment

Keywords: Cultural control, common rush, flame weeding, integrated weed management, non-chemical control, thermal weeding, torches

Original source

Article: WeedsNews5310 (permalink)
Categories: :WeedsNews:non-chemical control, :WeedsNews:research alert, :WeedsNews:agricultural weed, :WeedsNews:flame weeding, :WeedsNews:integrated control, :WeedsNews:thermal weed control
Date: February 17, 2015; 10:31:31 PM EST
Author Name: David Low
Author ID: admin