POST weed control atop the bed during strawberry production is limited to hand weeding, clopyralid, and acetyl CoA carboxylase inhibitors. Identification of additional modes of action is desirable to increase available options for producers and alleviate herbicide resistance concerns. The study objective was to screen sulfonylurea herbicides for safety of strawberry coordinated with efficacy against Carolina geranium. Herbicide treatments included metsulfuron-methyl, flazasulfuron, foramsulfuron, thifensulfuron-methyl, trifloxysulfuron-sodium, and rimsulfuron. Strawberry plants were heavily damaged by all herbicides apart from foramsulfuron. Although the strawberry plant was dramatically affected by the evaluated herbicides, demonstrating strong epinasty, there were no differences in resultant biomass at 31 d after treatment (DAT) compared to controls. Carolina geranium was severely injured by metsulfuron-methyl, flazasulfuron, and thifensulfuron-methyl, and moderately injured by foramsulfuron. There were consistent reductions in biomass by 31 DAT by metsulfuron-methyl and flazasulfuron. Overall, metsulfuron-methyl and flazasulfuron are suitable candidates for Carolina geranium control in row-middles. Foramsulfuron is a suitable candidate for additional field-based screening for utility in POST use in strawberry production atop the bed. Consideration toward doses, surfactants, timings, and cultivar tolerance may be necessary to minimize injury as observed in the greenhouse (15% to 20%).
Nomenclature: Flazasulfuron; foramsulfuron; metsulfuron-methyl; rimsulfuron; thifensulfuron-methyl; trifloxysulfuron-sodium; Carolina geranium, Geranium carolinianum L., GERCA; strawberry, Fragaria × ananassa (Weston) Duchesne ex Rozier (pro sp.) [chiloensis × virginiana]