Control of volunteer giant reed (Arundo donax).
Giant reed (Arundo donax L.) has recently shown great potential as a feedstock for the bioenergy industry. However, before A. donax can be grown commercially, due to its invasive nature, management strategies must be developed to reduce the risk of unintended spread. This research was conducted in northeastern Oregon (USA) during two growing seasons. Nine control strategies were evaluated in a field that previously had A. donax as a crop. The control strategies included mechanical practices (stem cutting and rhizome digging), physical practices (covering with an opaque tarp), chemical practices (glyphosate applications at different rates and timings), and a combination of these practices. Spring samplings of A. donax regrowth in the season following treatments indicated that stem cutting in the spring without follow-up control practices provided no control. Covering plants with a tarp after cutting them (either with or without a glyphosate treatment after cutting) resulted in 96% control. Application of glyphosate alone also resulted in excellent control, although timing of application was an important factor for maximizing efficacy. The best results were found when the maximum dose (10.2 L ai ha -1) was split among two or three applications (>99% of control) compared with the maximum dose applied once (75% to 94%). Control was lower (73% to 89%) for two of the strategies that included mechanical practices, stem cutting + glyphosate and rhizome digging, in comparison to other strategies involving tarps and/or glyphosate applications (88% to 100%). Results indicated that it is very difficult to eradicate volunteer A. donax in 1 yr, but very good control can be achieved with several of the strategies tested.