Agriculture, Pêche et Aquaculture
Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries
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  Evaluation of Fall and Spring Applied Tribenuron Methyl for Bunchberry Control after Hand and Mechanical Harvest of Wild Blueberries in 2005

K.V. McCully1, M.J. Melanson1 and G.L. Graham1

Parter: Bleuets NB Blueberries

Abstract: Two trials were established in the fall of 2005 to evaluate the control of bunchberry (Cornus canadensis L.) and crop injury with fall and spring applications of tribenuron methyl (Spartan) in a wild blueberry field post hand and mechanical harvest. Treatments of Spartan were applied at the label rate one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks and the following spring after harvest to the assigned blueberry plots. An untreated control plot was included for control and injury comparisons. Visual evaluations of crop injury and weed control were collected, along with crop yield parameters in the fall of the sprout year and crop yield at maturity. No difference in crop injury or weed control was noted between the harvest methods, where a fall Spartan application to control bunchberry proved to be successful. All Spartan applications had significant bunchberry control as compared to the untreated areas. The fall applications showed improved weed control and crop tolerance over the spring application at the first two ratings, with no difference noted between fall and spring applications past the fall of the sprout year. The fall application timing did not have a significant effect on crop yield. The possibility of a fall application would help expand the application window for this herbicide, eliminating the restrictive nature of the current herbicide label. From these results, the use of Spartan post hand and mechanical harvest is recommended and has been added to the product label by a User Requested Minor Use Label Expansion.

1NB Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, Crop Development Branch, P. O. Box 6000, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5H1

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