Effect of Rate and Season of Application of Aminocyclopyrachlor on the Control of Acacia Farnesiana (L.) Willd. in South Texas
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This study was conducted on two rangeland sites in south Texas with large populations of huisache (Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd.); the Bush Ranch in Goliad County, and the Hitchcock Ranch in Bee County. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effect of three herbicide treatments and three seasons of application on 1) apparent mortality of huisache, 2) huisache canopy cover, 3) huisache stem density, and 4) herbaceous ground cover. Herbicide treatments included aminocyclopyrachlor alone at a rate of 0.315 kg a.i. ha-1, aminocyclopyrachlor + triclopyr at a rate of 0.210 kg a.i. ha-1 + 0.420 kg a.e. ha-1, and triclopyr + picloram at a rate of 0.560 kg a.e. ha-1 + 0.560 kg a.e. ha-1. Herbicide treatments were applied over 3 x 30 m plots containing previously mowed huisache in May, July, and October of 2010 with ground-broadcast equipment at a rate of 140 L ha-1. Randomly selected huisache individuals and herbaceous ground cover at randomly selected points were monitored for the duration of the study. Statistical analyses of huisache mortality, canopy area, and stem densities revealed that at both sites one year after treatment, huisache mortality across the three seasons of application was consistently higher in plots treated with aminocyclopyrachlor + triclopyr (50 to 99%) versus those treated with aminocyclopyrachlor alone (16 to 78%) or triclopyr + picloram (4 to 70%). This mixture also provided the greatest reductions in huisache canopy area (60 to 99% reduction) and stem density (61 to 99% reduction). Also at both sites, spring applications consistently provided the greatest huisache control and canopy and stem reductions. Herbicide treatment and season of application had little effect on post-treatment herbaceous ground cover, likely due to extreme drought conditions in 2011. Of the possible combinations of seasons of application and herbicide treatments, the application in the spring of aminocyclopyrachlor plus triclopyr provided the most desirable results in terms of huisache mortality, canopy reduction, and stem density reduction. However, for sites invaded by huisache that are located near to potentially susceptible crops, the application of aminocyclopyrachlor plus triclopyr or aminocyclopyrachlor alone in the fall after the harvest of those crops may be more appropriate in order to avoid non-target injury while still providing acceptable huisache control.