Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Preemergence weed control in direct-seeded watermelon

Authors
item Brandenberger, Lynn - OSU, STILLWATER, OK
item Shrefler, James - OSU, LANE, OK
item Webber, Charles
item Talbert, Ronald - UNIV OF ARKANSAS
item Paton, Mark - OSU, STILLWATER, OK
item Wells, Lynda - OSU, STILLWATER, OK
item Mccelland, Marilyn - UNIV OF ARKANSAS

Submitted to: Weed Technology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 19, 2005
Publication Date: July 1, 2005
Citation: Brandenberger, L.P., Shrefler, J.W., Webber III, C.L., Talbert, R.E., Paton, M.E., Wells, L.K., McClelland, M. 2005. Preemergence weed control in direct-seeded watermelon. Weed Technology. 19:706-712.

Interpretive Summary: Weeds not only decrease vegetable yields, but also decrease vegetable quality, increase production costs and harvesting difficulty. Pigweed species (Amaranthus spp.) are cited among the most troublesome weeds for cucurbit crops (i.e. watermelon, cantaloupe, squash, honeydew) in eight southern states. Carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata L.) and hophornbeam copperleaf (Acalypha ostryifolia Riddell) are also mention as serious weed problems for cucurbit crops. Research was conducted at eight sites during a 3-yr period in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The purpose of this research was to determine crop safety and effectiveness of halosulfuron applied preemergence alone and in tank mixtures with other preemergence herbicides (bensulide, clomazone, ethalfluralin, and naptalam) in direct-seeded watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) for control of annual weeds in the South-Central United States. Ethalfluralin and sulfentrazone were also applied individually. Although halosulfuron injured the crop, watermelon recovered within a few weeks. Halosulfuron treatments controlled hophornbeam copperleaf, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats.), carpetweed, and cutleaf groundcherry (Physalis angulata L.) 80 to 100%. Goosegrass (Eleusine indica L.) control was at least 97% when halosulfuron was applied with clomazone and ethalfluralin. Watermelon treated with sulfentrazone at 450 g ai/ha had lower yields than watermelon treated with the other herbicides. Higher yields for treatments using halosulfuron alone and in combination with these other herbicides is evidence of halosulfuron weed control efficacy and crop safety. Based upon results of these studies, the authors conclude that halosulfuron alone will provide a much-needed tool for the control of broadleaf weeds and that in combination with other preemergence herbicides will increase the spectrum of control for both broadleaf and grassy weeds for use in commercial watermelon production.

Technical Abstract: Weeds are detrimental to vegetable production, causing increased costs associated with control efforts, difficulty in harvesting, and reductions in crop quality and yield. In a 2002 survey of weeds in eight southern states, pigweed species (Amaranthus spp.) were cited as some of the most common troublesome weeds for cucurbit crops. Also mentioned in the survey were carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata L.) and hophornbeam copperleaf (Acalypha ostryifolia Riddell). Research was conducted at eight sites during a 3-yr period in Oklahoma and Arkansas. The purpose of this research was to determine crop safety and effectiveness of halosulfuron applied preemergence alone and in tank mixtures with other preemergence herbicides (bensulide, clomazone, ethalfluralin, and naptalam) in direct-seeded watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) for control of annual weeds in the South-Central United States. Ethalfluralin and sulfentrazone were also applied alone. Although halosulfuron injured the crop, watermelon recovered within a few weeks. Halosulfuron treatments controlled hophornbeam copperleaf, Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats.), carpetweed, and cutleaf groundcherry (Physalis angulata L.) 80 to 100%. Control of goosegrass (Eleusine indica L.) was at least 97% with clomazone plus ethalfluralin plus halosulfuron. Yield of watermelon treated with sulfentrazone at 450 g ai/ha was lower than watermelon treated with other herbicides. Further evidence of both weed control and crop safety from halosulfuron alone and in combination is made evident from significantly higher yields for these treatments compared to the nontreated weedy check. Based upon results of these studies, the authors conclude that halosulfuron alone will provide a much-needed tool for the control of broadleaf weeds and that in combination with other preemergence herbicides will increase the spectrum of control for both broadleaf and grassy weeds for use in commercial watermelon production.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page