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New Blueberry Herbicide and Valuable Weed Identification References

Posted: April 25, 2011

Sandea (halsulfuron-methyl, Gowan) has been approved for use on blueberries in Pennsylvania. Sandea has both preemergent and postemergent activity on certain weeds that can become problematic in blueberry plantings. Labeled rates are really low (1/2 to 1 oz/acre), so make sure that your application rate is correct. Be sure to follow precautions and directions on the label, and avoid contact with any green tissue.
Kathy Demchak, Department of Horticulture

Here is some more information on use, with helpful suggestions provided by Paul David at Gowan. First, it may require some research to figure out how to best utilize Sandea in your situation. A field survey should be conducted in your individual plantings to develop a “weeds of concern” list. Based on this list and a review of the labeling of various herbicides, tank mixtures of Sandea plus other herbicides are likely to be required except in the case of nutsedge control where Sandea is very effective alone. Paul mentioned that Sandea, due to its control spectrum, is better used in spring or summer rather than in the fall, you can expect about 45 to 60 days of residual activity at the 1 oz rate, and 0.25 to 0.5 inches of rain or irrigation after application improves pre-emergence weed control. Also, use of a non-ionic surfactant with Sandea will improve post-emergence weed control. So, for now, read the label carefully (including the footnotes!), and if you have any information to share, feel free to send it along to me. 

Also, as in any situation, you need to know which weeds are your biggest problems in order to figure out what material(s) you should use. Anytime I need to identify weeds, I turn to the book “Weeds of the Northeast” by R. Uva, J.C. Neal, and J. M. DiTomaso. It’s really easy to use. Ordering information is at  http://www.cornellpress.cornell.edu/cup_detail.taf?ti_id=3025 or you can call 607-277-2211. It’s $29.95 plus shipping and honestly, I don’t know what I would do without it!! If you are looking for weed identification information on the Web, Virginia Tech has a good site at http://www.ppws.vt.edu/weedindex.htm as does the University of Illinois at http://weeds.cropsci.illinois.edu/weedid.htm. The way it’s raining this spring, we should have plenty of weeds to deal with this year.