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Integrating Weed Management Options in Strawberries (year 2) 2007

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Project Leader: R. Bellinder, Department of Horticulture, Cornell Univ.

Cooperators: M. Pritts, Department of Horticulture, Cornell Univ.; D. Breth, NYS IPM

Abstract: Weed management in perennial strawberries is essential for long-term productivity.  Particularly, management during the planting year is especially important to maximize stand establishment and minimize pressure in years to come.  Reduction in weed populations can reduce disease and insect pressure and drastically reduce costly hand-weeding.  Different studies have evaluated chemical, mechanical, and biological control measures separately.  Whereas commercial growers integrate these tools into a program approach.  This project evaluated seven different weed management systems for strawberries.  Treatments included the use of broadcast and banded herbicides, cultivation equipment, and inter-seeding of fescue grass in a variety of combinations.  A banded herbicide, which results in a 50% reduction in herbicide use, plus cultivation treatment and use of inter-seeded fescue with broadcast herbicide treatment both had the greatest reductions in weeds.  Results suggest that cultivation equipment did not have a detrimental impact on plant development and establishment.  Herbicide reductions strategies, i.e. banded herbicides and cultivation, treatments had similar yields when compared to broadcast herbicide treatments.  Though, there was a varietal response to frequency of cultivation.  This trial supports the conclusion that perennial strawberries can be produced under minimal herbicide input.