Strawberry is an important horticultural crop in Florida. The long growing season and escapes from fumigation and PRE herbicides necessitate POST weed management to maximize harvest potential and efficiency. Alternatives to hand-weeding are desirable, but clopyralid is the only broadleaf herbicide registered for use. Weed control may be improved by early-season clopyralid applications, but at risk of high temperature and increased strawberry injury. The effect of temperature on clopyralid safety on strawberry is unknown. We undertook a growth chamber experiment using a completely randomized design to determine crop safety under various temperature conditions across acclimation, herbicide application, and post-application periods. There was no effect of clopyralid on the number of strawberry leaves across all temperatures. Damage to the strawberry manifested as leaf malformations. Acclimation temperatures affected clopyralid-associated injury (p=0.0309), with increased leaf malformations at higher temperatures (27 C) compared to lower (18 C) temperatures. Pre-treatment temperatures did not affect clopyralid injury. Post-application temperature also affected clopyralid injury (p=0.0161), with increased leaf malformations at higher temperatures compared to lower ones. Clopyralid application did not reduce flowering or biomass production in the growth chamber. If leaf malformations are to be avoided, consideration to growing conditions prior to application is advisable, especially if applying clopyralid early in the season.
Nomenclature: Clopyralid; strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa Duchesne