Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017
Ventenata dubia is an exotic annual grass that has become increasingly invasive in various perennial grass systems throughout the Intermountain Pacific Northwest. Currently, little information is available to landowners about herbicide control options. In our first field study, we evaluated V. dubia control efficacy and perennial grass tolerance of herbicides applied pre-emergence (PRE) at two locations and as an early postemergence (EPOST) application at four different conservation reserve grasslands, with each grassland dominated by different perennial grass species. Treatments included flufenacet plus metribuzin (303 + 76 g ai ha−1 [0.27 + 0.07 lb ai ac−1]), propoxycarbazone-sodium (49 g ai ha−1 [0.04 lb ai ac−1]), rimsulfuron (53 g ai ha−1 [0.05 lb ai ac−1]), sulfosulfuron (53 g ai ha−1 [0.05 lb ai ac−1]), and imazapic (105 g ai ha−1 [0.09 lb ai ac−1]). Rimsulfuron and flufenacet plus metribuzin applied PRE provided > 90% control 10 mo after treatment (MAT). Rimsulfuron and sulfosulfuron applied EPOST provided > 90% control 9 MAT. Herbicide injury to bluebunch and intermediate wheatgrass was negligible across treatments. Imazapic and sulfosulfuron applied EPOST resulted in significant injury to smooth brome and timothy. In our second study, we addressed the following question: Will fall herbicide plus fertilizer treatments improve V. dubia control compared with herbicide treatments alone? We imposed fall herbicide treatments in main plots and fertilizer treatments (fall N, fall P, fall K, fall PK, spring N, NPK) in split plots at three study locations. Herbicide treatments resulted in high levels of V. dubia control. Differences in V. dubia abundance among fertilizer treatments were negligible 9 MAT. Within herbicide control plots, spring N and NPK treatments resulted in significant increases in perennial grass cover and decreases in V. dubia cover (9 MAT). This result indicates that spring N applications timed to the onset of perennial grass growth could be utilized as a component of an integrated management strategy for V. dubia in invaded perennial grass systems.
Current address: Plant Science Department, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802