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1 October 2003 Stale-Seedbed as a Weed Management Alternative for Machine-Harvested Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)
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The objective of this 2-yr study was to determine the optimal length of time between stale-seedbed preparation and planting that maximized weed control along with growth, development, and yield of cucumbers, compared with conventional seedbeds. Stale-seedbeds were prepared 40, 30, 20, and 10 d before planting (DBP), with an additional treatment of 40-DBP seedbed that received an application of glyphosate at 0.9 kg ae/ha, 20 DBP (40 and 20 DBP). The control (0 DBP) was prepared at planting. Glyphosate plus glufosinate ammonium at 1.26 and 0.042 kg ae/ha were applied after cucumber seeding to kill any emerged weeds. The experiment was a split-plot design in which one half of the main plots were treated with a preemergence application of clomazone at 0.42 kg ai/ha after cucumber seeding. Management of the stale-seedbed influenced the level of weed control and final crop yield. Generally, the 40-DBP seedbed had the highest weed biomass at planting and the lowest at harvest. Cucumber density, leaf number, and vine length were reduced in this treatment, and flowering was delayed because of the high weed biomass present during seedling emergence. All stale-seedbeds, with the exception of the 40-DBP stale-seedbed, had greater yields compared with the control (0 DBP) seedbed. The optimal timing of stale-seedbed preparation was 20 to 30 DBP. Seedbed preparation could be expanded to 40 DBP; however, an application of glyphosate at 20 DBP would be required to optimize yield. The stale-seedbed in combination with herbicides was a superior integrated weed management tool compared with conventional weed management practices.

Nomenclature: Clomazone; glufosinate ammonium; glyphosate; cucumber, Cucumis sativus.

Additional index words: Conservation tillage, weed biomass, weed density, Secale cereale L.

Abbreviations: DBP, days before planting.

SHERYL K. LONSBARY, JOHN O'SULLIVAN, and CLARENCE J. SWANTON "Stale-Seedbed as a Weed Management Alternative for Machine-Harvested Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus)," Weed Technology 17(4), 724-730, (1 October 2003).
Published: 1 October 2003

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