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  Evaluation of Fall Herbicide Applications after Pruning for Sheep Sorrel Control in Wild Blueberries

G.L. Graham and M.J. Melanson

Partner: Bleuets NB Blueberries

Abstract: Sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella) is an annual or short lived perennial weed that has been noted in blueberry production for many years. Recently, growers are observing heavier than normal sheep sorrel populations and the weed has moved beyond its typical bare spot habitat and is being found more often within clones of blueberries. Herbicide options, such as propyzamide and hexazinone, can be quite variable in their control levels for sheep sorrel. A fall herbicide application may be a viable control option, as the sheep sorrel is actively growing much later into the fall than the blueberries. A trial was established in the fall after blueberry pruning within a commercial field near Aulac, New Brunswick. At the time of crop harvest, no treatment resulted in significant blueberry injury, although yields were highly variable. Complete control of sheep sorrel was not achieved for any treatment evaluated, although the high weed pressure in the trial may have masked some treatment effects. Propyzamide had activity on sheep sorrel and would be commercially acceptable. Sulfentrazone gave excellent sheep sorrel control at the start of the trial, but control declined by the final ratings. Dicamba showed control at higher rates, although the most effective rate used can cause crop injury. Triclopyr and nicosulfuron/rimsulfuron had no activity at the timing used in this trial. Significant re–growth occurred in all treatments, demonstrating the need to evaluate multiple application timings in order to achieve adequate, long term sheep sorrel control.

Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries
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