- Crop Production: cover crops
- Pest Management: biofumigation, eradication, physical control
The Florida state has over 9 million acres of area under vegetable production and it faces the challenge from many problematic weeds which cause significant yield loss every year. However, perennial nutsedge (Cyperus spp.) are among most difficult weeds to control. Since the 1950s, the vegetable growers have relied on fumigation with methyl bromide for effective management of nutsedge and other soil-borne disease infestations. Following the phase-out of methyl bromide, other fumigants such as dimethyl disulfide and chloropicrin, over the top application of herbicides such as glyphosate and ALS herbicides were deemed as the best systemic control option. However, lack of effective long-term control and evolution of herbicide resistance has made nutsedge management more challenging. Past research has shown that tuber removal through peanut digger gives 99 percent control one week after application. However, the cost of running the equipment could be high. Therefore, we will undertake studies to elucidate the efficacy of mechanical tuber digging integrated with cover crops and is cost to benefit ratio for long-term nutsedge control. We plan to conduct studies to find best and cheap ways to break nutsedge tuber dormancy to enhance tuber removal efficiency. Further, studies will explore optimum timings to plant the cover crop after tuber removal for maximum nutsedge control. The results of this study will help growers better manage nutsedge and reclaim their fields submerged with nutsedge. The results will be disseminated to growers through field days, scientific meetings and social media.
Project objectives from proposal:
- To evaluate the herbicides and growth regulators for artificially breaking nutsedge tuber dormancy;
- To evaluate the long-term nutsedge control feasibility through tuber removal using peanut digger and cover crops;
- To assess the cost to benefit ratio for physical tuber removal technique for nutsedge control.