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Cranberry Weed/IPM Research

Selected Highlights of the 2016 Cranberry IPM/Weed Program

Dr. Hilary Sandler and Dr. Katherine Ghantous
with support from N. Demoranville and K. DeMoranville

Research Highlights:

Improving weed control in cranberry with novel uses of registered herbicides. Due to the difficulty of registering new herbicides for use in cranberry, we are developing new use patterns of herbicides that are currently available. Devrinol is used for preemergence weed control, and is labeled for use in the early spring. We evaluated crop safety with applications of Devrinol later in the season to help control weeds that germinate in warmer weather.  Grass-specific herbicides are registered for use in cranberry, but an obstacle to effective use of these herbicides is that they can only be applied by ground rig or aerial application. Chemigation allows for treatment of infested areas more quickly and at a lower cost.  Broadcast and chemigation applications of Intensity as well as single vs multiple applications at various timings were evaluated. Both herbicides have excellent crop safety with these new use patterns. Registrants are willing to pursue Special Local Needs labels. Results will enable growers to increase the range of weeds controlled in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Screening novel herbicides for use in cranberry. Novel herbicides are needed to control emerging weed issues, as well as to allow for growers to have access to a wider range chemical mode of actions (MoA) to enable them to rotate chemicals and practice the principles of Resistance Management (RM).  Our program screened six herbicides (registered for use in other food crops but not cranberry) which represented 5 different MoA groups, two of which are not represented by any currently registered herbicides. Initial screening trials were conducted in the greenhouse.  A promising candidate from 2015 screening trials, Chateau (flumioxazin), was included in the 2016 screening field trials and has been selected as an IR-4 (residue trials) priority for 2017. Identifying novel herbicides for use in cranberry will ideally lead to registration of these products, giving growers more and better tools to control weeds while enabling them to practice RM principles.

Extension Highlights:

  • In collaboration with Cornell University, we offered a “Train the Trainer” webinar series on Pesticide Resistance Management for Extension personnel in the Northeast.  The 4-part workshop series attracted 238 attendees.  A Core Module (PowerPoint) presentation was developed and distributed to participants for their use as an education tool.  NE‑SARE Grant: $91,500.
  • We are in the process of obtaining a Special Local Needs label (SLN or 24c) for chemigation applications of Intensity and Intensity One for control of grasses. 
  • We successfully lobbied to have a novel herbicide (Chateau, active ingredient flumioxazin) nominated for IR-4 trials. This is a crucial step for registering a new product for use in cranberry. 
  • Provided support (scouting, recommendations, etc.) for a new cranberry farmer who is transitioning his newly acquired bogs from conventional to organic.
  • Initiated a 2-year study on the effects of registered herbicides on five newer large-fruited cranberry hybrid varieties.
  • Scholarworks (digital repository).  UMass Cranberry Station documents were downloaded by people from 84 different countries.  Interestingly, the largest increase of downloads came from China. We saw virtually no downloads from China in recent years, but in 2016, China ranked in the top 3 or 4 countries, usually behind Western Europe and Canada.
    • Metrics:
      Cranberry Chart book: 1,228 copies (+18% from last year)
      Cranberry Production CP-08 Manuals: 302 copies (-18% from last year)
      BMPs: 638 copies (-6% from last year; IPM was downloaded most frequently with 255)
      Fact sheets: 722 copies (+133% from last year; Sparganothis had 167 downloads).
  • UMass Cranberry Web Site was updated and aligned with its sister programs in Extension in January.  The software platform allows for easy and quick updating from any computer. 88% were from the U.S. but others were from Canada (4.5%), Poland/UK (0.7%), India, Japan, and Germany. 
    • 9,112 users (-23% from 2015)
    • 35,096 page views (no change)
    • 1:34 minutes spent on site per visit (no change)
    • Top 5 pages: How Cranberries Grow, IPM Message Alerts, Faculty/Staff page, Cranberry Chart Book, Forst Tolerance Reports

Other Program Highlights:

  • Published 2 journal articles (Weed Technology, J. Chemical Ecology) and 3 abstracts.
  • Provided summer internships for two science students (UMass-Amherst & Wheaton College).
  • Conducted 5th year of treatments for studying the long-term effects of delayed applications of Casoron on four cranberry varieties.
  • Hosted a bogside workshop on sprayer calibration and boom sprayer technology at a grower farm.
  • Administrated EIP grant program for UMass Extension small fruit, tree fruit, vegetable, and cranberry teams.  Year 2 (of 3-year grant) monies from USDA-NIFA: $194,000.
  • Obtained industry support for applied research in weed management.  CI/CRF/OSC: $32,950.