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1 October 2005 Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Control in Established Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) Grown for Seed Production
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Canada thistle is one of the most troublesome and difficult weed species to control in established alfalfa grown for seed production. Current tools available for control are limited because of cultural management strategies associated with seed production. Alfalfa seed losses due to Canada thistle interference include both reduced yields from competition and increased seed loss during seed cleaning operations. Additional tools are needed to alleviate these losses. Field experiments were conducted in 1998, 1999, and 2000 at two locations in Park County, WY, to evaluate Canada thistle control and alfalfa tolerance to several postemergence herbicides. Bentazon, imazamox, imazethapyr, and MCPB were applied, alone or in combination, at different Canada thistle growth stages. Methylated seed oil (MSO) was added at 1.5% v/v to the treatments containing imazamox or imazethapyr. MCPB applied alone when Canada thistle was 7.5- or 15-cm tall caused severe alfalfa injury (28 to 40%) and resulted in less Canada thistle control (23 to 27%). Imazamox or imazethapyr applied alone when Canada thistle was 15-cm tall did not cause any significant alfalfa injury but resulted in unsatisfactory Canada thistle control (29 to 35%). Bentazon was the only treatment containing a single herbicide that provided more than 50% Canada thistle control. The treatments providing the best balance between Canada thistle control (>80%) and alfalfa injury (<13%) were a single application of bentazon combined with either imazamox or imazethapyr. These two treatments also yielded the highest, more than 800 kg/ha. Split applications of bentazon combined with imazamox or imazethapyr were similar to single applications.

Nomenclature: Bentazon; imazamox; imazethapyr; MCPB; Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. #3 CIRAR; Alfalfa, Medicago sativa L.

Additional index words: Application timing, herbicide mixtures, methylated seed oil, MSO, postemergence, weed management, CIRAR.

Abbreviations: IMI, imidazolinone-resistant; MSO, methylated seed oil.

ABDEL O. MESBAH and STEPHEN D. MILLER "Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) Control in Established Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) Grown for Seed Production," Weed Technology 19(4), 1025-1029, (1 October 2005).
Published: 1 October 2005

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