Citrus Orchard Floor Management 2001: Comparison of a Disk, "Perfecta" Cultivator, and Weed Sensing Sprayer
AffiliationDepartment of Plant Sciences, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona
Department of Plant Sciences, Yuma Mesa Agricultural Center, University of Arizona, Yuma, Arizona
Yuma County Pest Abatement District, Yuma, Arizona
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AbstractMechanical (disk and Perfecta cultivator) and chemical weed control strategies were compared in a Yuma, AZ lemon orchard. In addition, an optical weed sensing sprayer (WeedSeeker) was evaluated for making post-emergence Roundup Ultramax herbicide applications. The use of pre-emergence herbicides in conjunction with the WeedSeeker spray units has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of post-emergence herbicide and water needed to spray flood irrigated citrus orchards. There was a relationship between weed ground cover and the area sprayed by the WeedSeeker units that indicated the maximum herbicide saving will occur a low weed densities. The use of the Kawasaki Mule with its superior suspension system allowed for faster spraying speeds than were possible with the tractor mounted sprayer and this also reduced spray volume per plot. Weed control was similar for the conventional and the WeedSeeker sprayers. Future investigations will include efforts to improve the estimation of percent weed groundcover, the use of higher rates of pre-emergence herbicides and the development of crop budgets based on experimental operations.