Mint Weed Research Report. Rick Boydston, Weed Scientist, USDA-ARS,

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1 Mint Weed Research Report Rick Boydston, Weed Scientist, USDA-ARS, Statement of Research. Weeds lower mint oil yield and quality and controlling weeds is a major production cost for growers. The goal of this research was to develop improved weed control methods in spearmint and peppermint and to identify promising new herbicides for use in mint production. Ongoing research will lead to development of new weed control techniques and contribute to the registration of new herbicides in mint that will improve weed control, decrease crop injury, decrease cost of production, decrease harm to the environment, and slow the development of herbicide resistant weeds. Materials and Methods. Most field trials were conducted at the Prosser Irrigated Agriculture Research and Extension Center (IAREC) on a Warden sandy loam soil (1% O.M., ph 7.9) (peppermint) or Warden silt loam soil (1.2% O.M., ph 6.6) (native spearmint) and were sprinkler irrigated. Trials were randomized complete block (RCB) designs with treatments replicated 3 or 4 times. In most instances plot size was 10 by 20 feet. All herbicides were applied in 25 gpa water volume with a bike CO 2 sprayer equipped with six, 8002XR flat fan nozzles. In seed meal trials, plot size was 5 by 15 feet and treatments replicated four times. Peppermint and spearmint response to herbicides was visually estimated and recorded at various times throughout the growing season. Weed control was visually estimated in most trials when weed infestations were great enough and uniform enough to adequately evaluate. Weed density was also determined in some trials by counting weeds in a known area within each plot. In trials that mint hay and oil yield were determined, a 40 inch by 20-foot swath of mint was cut using a sickle bar mower. Mint fresh hay was weighed, and three 7 lb subsamples were taken from each plot and air dried in burlap bags. Oil was steam-distilled from air-dried hay using the standardized mini-stills at IAREC. Data were statistically analyzed using analysis of variance procedures (ANOVA) and treatments means separated using Fisher s protected LSD at the 0.05 level. Results and Discussion Evaluate broadleaf weed control and mint response to sulfentrazone, flumioxazin, and carfentrazone applied after the first cutting of peppermint and native spearmint and prior to mint regrowth. Broadleaf weeds emerging in double cut mint after the first harvest are sometimes difficult to control, especially with the loss of Tough (pyridate) herbicide. Sulfentrazone

2 (Spartan) and flumioxazin (Chateau) are labeled for use in dormant mint, but when applied POST severely injure emerged mint at normal use rates. In 2007 research, these two herbicides applied immediately after the first cutting of peppermint controlled pigweed with little or no injury to peppermint regrowth. Carfentrazone also controlled pigweed in double cut peppermint when applied after pigweed (and mint) began to regrow, but caused some minor and transient mint injury. Unlike sulfentrazone and flumioxazin, carfentrazone lacks soil persistence and will not control weeds if applied prior to weed emergence. These three herbicides could also be useful to improve control of Sinbar resistant weed biotypes. Further evaluation in both peppermint and spearmint is needed to determine optimum use rates, ensure mint oil yield is not reduced, and ensure that broadleaf weeds are controlled consistently with these herbicides. Peppermint and native spearmint tolerance and pigweed response to reduced rates of Spartan at and lb ai/a (sulfentrazone), Chateau (flumioxazin) at and lb ai/a, BAS800 (saflufenacil) at lb ai/a, Resource (flumiclorac-pentyl) at 0.04 lb ai/a, Aim (carfentrazone) at lb ai/a, and Basagran (bentazon) at 1 lb ai/a applied after mint harvest and prior to weed emergence was tested. A tank mix treatment of Aim plus Basagran was also included. In both trials, herbicides were applied with a small plot CO 2 sprayer and a nontreated weedy check was included. Treatments were replicated three times in a randomized complete block design. Pigweed control and crop injury was evaluated at several intervals after application. Mint hay yield was be determined by harvesting a 40 inch swath from the center of each plot and weighing. A 21 lb subsample of hay was dried from each plot and steam distilled to determine oil yield. Peppermint. The study was located at the headquarters unit of the WSU-IAREC on a Warden sandy loam soil (1% O.M., ph 7.9) and was irrigated with hand lines. Most herbicide treatments were applied July 28, 2008 with the exception of treatments containing Aim or Basagran, which were applied August 5, 2008 after some pigweed had begun to emerge and peppermint was 1.5 inches tall. Peppermint regrowth was slightly stunted in August with all herbicide treatments (Table 9). The greatest mint injury resulted from Aim or Aim plus Basagran treatments (Table 9). BAS800 tended to stunt regrowth of peppermint slightly more and for a longer period than most treatments with preemergence activity. Pigweed control was excellent (>96%) with Chateau at lb ai/a, Aim at lb ai/a, and Aim plus Basagran ( lb ai/a) and good (> 87%) with Spartan at lb ai/a (Table 9). All other treatments partially controlled pigweed. Peppermint hay and oil yields were determined on September 29, Hay yield was variable and all treatments yielded similar amounts of hay and oil, which averaged 38 lbs oil/acre (Table 9).

3 Native spearmint. The study was located on the Roza unit of WSU-IAREC on a Warden silt loam soil (1.2% O.M., ph 6.6) and was irrigated with hand lines. All herbicide treatments were applied July 28, Some pigweed that was previously emerged and was cut off during the first mint harvest had begun to regrow. Spearmint regrowth was stunted in August with all herbicide treatments except Basagran and injury was greatest with Chateau treatments by mid August (Table 10). BAS800 also tended to stunt regrowth of spearmint slightly more than Spartan, Resource, Aim, or Basagran (Table 10). Pigweed control was difficult due to regrowth of established plants from the first cutting. Pigweed control was the most consistent with Spartan at lb ai/a, Chateau at lb ai/a, Aim plus Basagran ( lb ai/a) and BAS800 at 0.44 lb ai/a (Table 10). All other treatments partially controlled pigweed with Basagran providing the least control. Spearmint hay and oil yields were determined on September 30, Treatments did not significantly affect hay or oil yields. Oil yield averaged 42 lbs oil/acre (Table 10).

4 Table 9. Pigweed control and peppermint injury, hay, and oil yield after treating with herbicides applied July 28, after the first cutting near Prosser, WA Peppermint Peppermint Pigweed Control Peppermint Injury Hay yield Oil yield 8/13/2008 8/20/2008 9/29/2008 8/13/2008 8/20/2008 9/29/2008 9/29/2008 9/29/2008 Trt Treatment Rate Appl No. Lb ai/a Code 1 % % % % % % Ton/acre Lb/acre 1 Spartan (sulfentrazone) A 88 a 63 ab 63 a-d 23 bcd 1 c 0 c 8.5 a 34 a 2 Spartan A 95 a 87 ab 88 a-d 12 cd 1 c 0 c 11.5 a 45 a 3 Chateau (flumioxazin) A 83 a 43 bc 47 d 13 cd 3 c 2 bc 10.6 a 42 a 4 Chateau A 100 a 97 a 98 ab 33 abc 7 bc 6 b 9.9 a 39 a 5 BAS 800 (saflufenacil) A 97 a 82 ab 83 a-d 23 bcd 10 bc 5 bc 10.2 a 40 a 6 Resource (flumiclorac) 0.04 A 73 a 57 ab 55 cd 17 cd 5 bc 0 c 10.1 a 40 a 7 Aim (carfentrazone) B 100 a 100 a 99 a 47 ab 14 b 7 b 7.5 a 30 a 8 Aim B 100 a 96 a 96 abc 57 a 25 a 17 a 7.1 a 28 a Basagran (bentazon) 1.0 B 9 Basagran 1.0 B 72 a 58 ab 57 bcd 25 bcd 5 bc 0 c 8.9 a 35 a 10 Nontreated Check 0 b 0c 0e 0d 0c 0c 10.6a 42 a LSD (P=.05) N.S. N.S. Means within a column followed by same letter do not significantly differ (P=0.05, LSD) 1 B Treatments #7-9 applied August 5, 2008 after mint and pigweed had begun to emerge.

5 Table 10. Pigweed control and native spearmint injury, hay, and oil yield after treating with herbicides applied after the first cutting in 2008 near Prosser, WA Spearmint Spearmint Pigweed Control Spearmint Injury Hay yield Oil yield 8/4/2008 8/21/2008 9/29/2008 8/4/2008 8/21/2008 9/29/2008 9/30/2008 9/30/2008 Trt Treatment Rate No. Lb ai/a % % % % % % Ton/acre Lb/acre 1 Spartan (sulfentrazone) c 42 b 40 b 45 c 1 c 0 c 12.8 a 51 a 2 Spartan ab 98 a 98 a 43 c 5 bc 3 c 11.7 a 47 a 3 Chateau (flumioxazin) ab 13 bc 17 bc 95 ab 47 a 10 b 8.6 a 34 a 4 Chateau a 90 a 88 a 95 ab 43 a 20 a 10.2 a 40 a 5 BAS 800 (saflufenacil) ab 92 a 90 a 100 a 12 b 3 c 9.4 a 37 a 6 Resource (flumiclorac) bc 30 bc 30 bc 42 c 0 c 0 c 11.3 a 45 a 7 Aim (carfentrazone) ab 23 bc 12 bc 80 b 7 bc 2 c 9.9 a 39 a 1 8 Aim ab 84 a 82 a 100 a 6 bc 0 c 11.3 a 45 a Basagran (bentazon) Basagran d 0.0 c 0.0 c 13 d 0 c 0 c 7.7 a 31 a 10 Nontreated Check 0.0 d 0.0 c 0.0 c 0.0 d 0.0 c 0.0 c 12.4 a 49 a LSD (P=.05) N.S. N.S. Means within a column followed by same letter do not significantly differ (P=0.05, LSD)

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