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Evaluation of a bioherbicide for weed control in specialty crop production systems


The diversity of crops grown by in-ground cut flower producers is so great that broad-spectrum herbicides are very rarely registered for these crops due to the high potential for phytoxicity in the target crop or a rotation crop. For this reason, there are no “herbicide partners” for soil fumigants that have limited weed control efficacy for this industry. The recent EPA registration of the broad-spectrum bioherbicide, MBI-005, provides a potential tool for this commodity that did not exist in the past. The objective of this project is to determine if there is potential for use of this material in Southeastern (Florida and Tennessee) in-ground cut flower production, using snapdragon as the test case. This material also has potential for use in vegetable and small fruit production systems, especially for growers no longer utilizing soil fumigants for weed control. This additional OMRI-approved weed control tool could also be useful for organic growers, who often cite weed control as their primary management obstacle. This project is funded in part by the USDA-ARS, Area-wide Pest Management Program for Methyl Bromide Alternatives.