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Atrazine effects on tensile strength of centipedegrass sod

Atrazine effects on tensile strength of centipedegrass sod

Agronomy Journal 79(1): 39-42

Centipedegrass [Eremochloa ophiuroides (Munro) Hack.] sod has become more in demand over the past decade, leading producers to attempt to speed production. An increase in the use of the herbicide atrazine [6-chloro-N-ethyl-N'-(1-methylethyl)-1,3,5-triazine-2,4-diamine] for weed control has been one result. Numerous sod producers in the Southeast have experienced difficulty harvesting sod due to inadequate tensile strength. The object of this study was to determine the effects of atrazine on the tensile strength of centipedegrass sod. The experiment was conducted during 1982, 1983, and 1984 at Auburn, AL, on Dothan sandy loam (Plinthic Paleudult) and during 1982 and 1983 at Tuskegee, AL, on a Gilead sandy loam (Aquic Hapludult) and a Leaf silt loam (Typic Albaquult), respectively. Atrazine was applied to centipedegrass at 0.6, 1.1, and 2.2 kg ha-1 rates at 2- and 4-week intervals during the growing season. Visual injury ratings were taken in July, September, and May, and sod tensile strength measurements were taken in September and May following applications. Visual observations indicated that injury was increased as atrazine rates and application frequencies increased. Less injury occurred in 1983 at both locations. Visual injury ratings were not consistent with sod tensile strength measurements. Measurements of sod tensile strength revealed that increasing rates of atrazine reduced the tensile strength in a linear fashion. Injury was greater with the 2-week application interval. Reduction of tensile strength was more evident with sod harvested in September than in May at both locations. Sod tensile strength of untreated centipedegrass was higher during September than during the following May and at the Auburn location.

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