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Abstract

Acacia tortuosa and A. macracantha are the most noxious woody plants in U.S. Virgin Islands pastures, infesting 90% of the fields and decreasing utilizable pasture area by up to 26%. These Acacia species are well adapted to the semi-arid climate and the calcareous soils of the Virgin Islands. Cattle grazing also creates conditions suitable for Acacia development by enhancing seed dispersal and reducing the competitive ability of preferred forages. Populations of the Acacia species can be suppressed by the natural environment, by pasture and grazing management, and by rogueing. Mechanical and chemical methods have been evaluated in St Croix. Preliminary studies suggest that extensive Acacia rogueing using hand tools is not practical or economical. Rogueing by bulldozer is not economical and ad-versely affects the physical condition and botanical composition of pastures. Basal herbicide applications are more effective and more economical than foliar applications. When basally applied, hexazinon and tebuthiuron are equally effective and more economical than picloram at labeled rates.

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