Season-long weed control with sequential herbicide programs in California tree nut crops

Caio A.C.G. Brunharo, Seth Watkins, Bradley D. Hanson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Weed control in tree nut orchards is a year-round challenge for growers that is particularly intense during winter through summer as a result of competition and interference with management and harvest operations. A common weed control program consists of an application of a winter PRE and POST herbicide mixture, followed by a desiccation treatment in early spring and before harvest. Because most spring and summer treatments depend on a limited number of foliar-applied herbicides, summer-germinating species and/or herbicide-resistant biotypes become troublesome. Previous research has established effective PRE herbicide programs targeting winter glyphosate-resistant weeds. However, more recently, growers have reported difficulties in controlling several summer-germinating grassweeds with documented or suspected resistance to the spring and summer POST herbicide programs. In this context, research was conducted to evaluate a sequential PRE approach to control winter- and summer-germinating orchard weeds. Eight field experiments were conducted in tree nut orchards to evaluate the efficacy of common winter herbicide programs and a sequential herbicide program for control of a key summer grass weed species. In the sequential-application strategy, three foundational herbicide programs applied in the winter were either mixed with pendimethalin, followed with pendimethalin in March, or applied as a split application of pendimethalin in both winter and spring. Results indicate that the addition of pendimethalin enhanced summer grass weed control throughout the crop growing season by up to 31%. Applying all or part of the pendimethalin in the spring improved control of the summer grass weed junglerice by up to 49%. The lower rate of pendimethalin applied inthe spring performed as well as the high rate in the winter, suggesting opportunities for reducing herbicide inputs. Tailoring sequential herbicide programs to address specific weed challenges can be a viable strategy for improving orchard weed control without increasing herbicide use in some situations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)834-842
Number of pages9
JournalWeed Technology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Plant Science


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