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Abstract

Buffelgrass pastures lose productivity as brittlebush and other species densities increase. Profitability of controlling high densities of brittlebush in buffelgrass pastures is not well documented. The study was conducted in central Sonora to evaluate the effectiveness of Tronador® herbicide to control brittlebush and the benefit-cost relation associated with infestation reduction. Treatments were: Tronador® at 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0% in water, Tordon 101® 1.0% in water and the untreated check. The herbicide was applied to the foliage in 40 m2 plots during the summer of 2010 by using a back sprayer. Evaluated variables were: brush mortality and buffelgrass density, basal cover, height and forage production. A randomized complete block design was used with 6 treatments and 20 replications. All variables were individually analyzed by ANOVA. Financial runs were conducted by using a computer program for Project analysis and formulation. Tronador® herbicide controlled 20, 80, 100 and 100% of brittlebush plants at rates of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0%, and Tordon 101® at 1% controlled 100% of the plants. Grass plants were not damaged by the herbicides. Buffelgrass density, height, basal cover and forage production was increased 35 to 180% with herbicides application. Herbicide treated areas produced annually from 1.5 to 2.16 tons of additional dry forage per hectare. Mean annual income during the projected 14 years was $241.6, $465.9 and $597.6 pesos/ha in a ranch without and with the application of Tronador® at 1.0 and 1.5% as brush control practices, respectively. A producer with a brittlebush invasion problem which applies these herbicides for vegetation control may gain additionally from $224.3 to $356.0 pesos/ha, annually.

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