Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) Development in Wild Blueberry Fields

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Abstract

Spreading dogbane is a common perennial weed in wild blueberry fields. It is highly competitive and spreads rapidly once established. Herbicides can provide effective control of spreading dogbane, but application timing is important. The emergence pattern, ramet height, and flowering time of spreading dogbane were observed in 2008 and 2009, and thermalbased emergence, growth, and development models were developed and used to estimate optimum herbicide application timing. Spreading dogbane emergence and height were described with a three-parameter, sigmoid, nonlinear regression model, whereas flowering was described with a four-parameter, Weibull, nonlinear regression model. Spreading dogbane ramets initiated emergence soon after the biofix date of April 1. Peak emergence tended to occur at 420 growing degree days (GDD). Spreading dogbane reached its peak height by about 558 GDD. The maximum number of flowers per plant was reached at approximately 750 GDD. This study suggested that POST herbicides should be applied between 486 and 535 GDD to maximize efficacy. This time frame occurs after peak emergence and during early floral bud development.

Nomenclature: Spreading dogbane, Apocynum androsaemifolium L.; wild blueberry, Vaccinium angustifolium Ait.

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