2010 Florida Citrus Pest Management Guide: Weeds

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Weed management in Florida citrus is an important component of any successful integrated pest management (IPM) program. IPM programs utilize a combination of control practices including, but not limited to, cultural, preventive, mechanical, chemical, or biological methods. Weed management is expensive and a major component in the total citrus production program. Time spent developing this production program can provide significant economic and environmental returns. The goal of weed management is to minimize the competitive effect of weeds with the citrus tree, be that young or mature. An understanding of the growth and competitive nature of the weed is important. The objective of today's weed management program is to suppress and control weeds so that they do not cause damage to the tree, impact yield, or impede grove and harvesting operations. Complete and total elimination of all weeds from the grove floor is unnecessary and not warranted.

When developing a weed management program, growers must consider: 1) application site (tree age, soil type, and location including ridge vs. flatwoods and county limitations); 2) weeds present; 3) the stage of weed growth; 4) herbicide selection; 5) spray nozzle and herbicide band width; 6) spray volume and pressure; and 7) amount of herbicide used. All of these factors will directly affect cost and the success of the weed management program.

S.H. Futch
M. Singh
University of Florida, IFAS Extension