Carrier water quality is an important consideration for herbicide efficacy. Effect of carrier water pH (4, 6.5, or 9) and coapplied Zn or Mn foliar fertilizer was evaluated on glufosinate efficacy for horseweed and Palmer amaranth control in the field. Greenhouse studies were conducted to evaluate the effect of: (1) carrier water pH, foliar fertilizer (Zn, Mn, or without fertilizer), and ammonium sulfate (AMS) (at 0 or 2.5% v/v); and (2) carrier water hardness (0 to 1,000 mg L−1) and AMS (at 0 or 2.5% v/v) on glufosinate efficacy for giant ragweed, horseweed, and Palmer amaranth control. In a 2014 field study, control, plant density reduction, and biomass reduction were at least 8% greater for horseweed and at least 14% greater for Palmer amaranth when glufosinate was applied at carrier water pH 4 compared with pH 9. Glufosinate efficacy was at least 10 and 17% greater for giant ragweed and Palmer amaranth control, respectively, with carrier water pH 4 compared with pH 9 in the greenhouse. In the greenhouse studies, coapplied Zn or Mn fertilizer had no effect on glufosinate efficacy. Increased carrier water hardness from 0 to 1,000 mg L−1 negatively influenced glufosinate efficacy and resulted in 20 and 17% lesser control and biomass reduction, respectively, on giant ragweed or Palmer amaranth. Use of AMS enhanced glufosinate efficacy on giant ragweed control in both greenhouse studies, whereas only the Palmer amaranth control was enhanced in the water hardness study. Horseweed control with glufosinate as affected by carrier water pH, hardness, or AMS remained unaffected in both greenhouse studies. Carrier water at alkaline pH or hardness > 200 mg L−1 has potential to reduce glufosinate efficacy. Therefore, carrier water free of hardness cations and at acidic condition (pH = 4 to 6.5) should be considered for optimum glufosinate efficacy.
Nomenclature: Glufosinate; giant ragweed, Ambrosia trifida L. AMBTR; horseweed, Conyza canadensis (L.) Cronq. ERICA; Palmer amaranth, Amaranthus palmeri S. Wats. AMAPA.