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The dispersion of ethylene in the soil after application from a backpack ethylene applicator (BPEA) was determined using a bioassay of witchweed [Striga asiatica (L.) Kuntze # STRLU] seed germination. Witchweed seed were buried in packets in ridged seedbeds under field conditions. Ethylene dispersion was better when injected into the furrow than into the ridge top. Injections 30 cm deep were more effective in causing seed germination than injections 15 cm deep. Seed germination induced by ethylene injection into the furrow 30 cm deep was 13% more than that obtained from the ridge top injection 15 cm deep. Seed germination as high as 90% was obtained at soil depths to 75 cm at a horizontal distance of 100 cm from the point of ethylene injection. Ethylene diffused up to 300 cm horizontally and to 75 cm vertically to cause at least 45% seed germination in a field of Lakeland soil (Typic Quartzisamment). The BPEA was found to be an effective application tool in witchweed control operations.
Weed Science © 1985 Weed Science Society of America