Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Expansion of scouringrush (Equisetum spp. L.) : crop interference and control options in winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and chemical fallow cropping cropping systems Public Deposited

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  • Scouringrushes (Equisetum hyemale L.; E. xferrissii Clute; E. laevigatum L.) are ancient perennial seedless vascular plants historically associated with wetlands, low-lying roadsides or field margins with more plant available water. There has been little research conducted on scouringrush species in the context of agricultural production because traditional farming practices confined them to field margins and roadside depressions. An increasing amount of dryland winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) hectares in the inland Pacific Northwest have replaced summer tilled-fallow rotations with chemical fallow. Where chemical fallow rotations have become the standard practice, scouringrush has expanded out of its historical habitat into production fields and established at high enough densities to cause concern from growers. Research was conducted to identify control options that fit chemical fallow cropping systems, evaluate the magnitude of crop interference by scouringrush, and address how soil pH affects scouringrush growth and establishment, as soil acidification is another agronomic issue caused by intensive wheat production in the Pacific Northwest. Field studies located in Reardan, WA, and near The Dalles, OR, were established in commercial wheat production fields that evaluated 10 herbicide treatments for efficacy on scouringrush. An additional factor in the trials was to determine if pre-herbicide mowing affected herbicide efficacy. At both locations pre-herbicide mowing had no effect on efficacy and only chlorsulfuron plus MCPA-ester controlled scouringrush though the subsequent winter wheat rotation. A third herbicide trial determined that triclopyr or increased rates of chlorsulfuron plus 2,4-D and dicamba or asulam were able to effectively control scouringrush seven and 10 months after treatment at a non-crop site in eastern Oregon. Under field conditions wheat yield reductions were correlated with increasing scouringrush density, but in a controlled study scouringrush density had no effect on winter wheat development or grain yield. Disagreement between these results is hypothesized to be a function of nutrient deficiencies within production fields. Results from three greenhouse studies showed that scouringrush biomass production increased as soil pH increased from ≈4.6 to ≈8.0 and that scouringrush was able to establish and survive in soil pH conditions that are unsuitable for winter wheat production.
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