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# Biology and Control of Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum) in Cotton (Gossypium hirsutum)

Paul E. Keeley and Robert J. Thullen
Weed Technology
Vol. 5, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1991), pp. 713-722
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3986881
Page Count: 10
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## Abstract

A 4-yr study (1985, 1987, 1988, 1989) was conducted on the same field plots at Shafter, CA to evaluate the efficacy of prometryn in controlling black nightshade on planting beds of cotton. Two rates (1.7 and $2.2\ {\rm kg}\ {\rm ai}\ {\rm ha}^{-1}$) were applied at two times (mid March before the preplant irrigation and early April at cotton planting) each year. Incorporation of prometryn into moist planting beds with a powered rotary tiller operated at 10 cm deeper resulted in excellent control of black nightshade under low to moderate weed pressure in 1985 and 1987. Control of nightshade with early and late applications of $1.7\ {\rm kg}\ {\rm ha}^{-1}$ of prometryn under high weed pressure in 1988 was only 70% at harvest, and yield losses of cotton averaged 25%. Yields of cotton treated with $2.2\ {\rm kg}\ {\rm ha}^{-1}$ of prometryn in 1988 were not significantly different from weed-free plots. Only the late application of $2.2\ {\rm kg}\ {\rm ha}^{-1}$ of prometryn prevented significant cotton losses under extreme weed pressure in 1989. Cotton yield losses with the other prometryn treatments ranged from 78 to 100%. Losses of cotton in weedy-check plots that received only cultivation ranged from 22% in the absence of rain or irrigation at cotton planting in 1987 to as much as 100% when rain fell in 1988 or plots were irrigated at planting in 1989. Plots hoed one time 4 wk after cotton planting yielded an average of 84% as much seed cotton as weed-free plots. In an attempt to determine why the efficacy of prometryn declined between 1985 and 1989, several experiments were conducted in 1988 to 1990 to discover reasons for this poor control of nightshade. Because efforts failed to provide evidence for the movement of the herbicide with water, the development of weed resistance to prometryn, or accelerated degradation of this herbicide in soil, increasing weed seed populations in soil were believed to have contributed greatly to the declining nightshade control from prometryn. The fact that prometryn applied and incorporated into flat soil provided excellent control of nightshade in 1990 under sprinkler irrigation indicated that both soil moisture and incorporation techniques limited activity of prometryn in planting beds in 1988 and 1989. Incomplete control of nightshade plus good soil moisture at planting contributed to the high weed populations in 1988 and 1989.

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