Well I hope everyone had a fun and safe 4th of July. I know it was sure warm, but I hope everyone took the time to celebrate what a great country we live in and to remember the service men and women that fight to keep it that way.

I wanted to use this week’s column to provide some information on spraying blackberries. I have received numerous calls on this the past couple of weeks and have heard all kinds of ideas on controlling this plant. What OSU recommends is based on work conducted in the 1980’s and 90’s by Dr. Jim Strizke and several of his graduate students. I know that is some old information, but I think it still holds true

today.

The research recommended spraying Remedy in July after the fruiting canes were fully developed. I tell folks to spray right after you pick the berries needed for a cobbler.

According to Dr. Stritzke, best control is obtained by spraying after the berries mature and the plant is again moving nutrients down to the roots to replenish its carbohydrate reserves. Before the berries mature, nutrients are moving up, not down.

He also found results were inconsistent if the fruiting canes had been removed by fire or mowing. If the site has been burned or mowed, wait a year before treating. A few people have asked if they can go ahead and cut their hay and then spray in July and still get adequate control. Depending on what “adequate control” means to you, I would not recommend that.

Included in these trials were 2 rates of Ally, equivalent to Rate I and Rate II of what we now know as Cimarron. Ally performed better when applied in September than it did if applied in July. But for these trials, Remedy in July was still more consistent. You will find blackberries listed on the Cimarron Max label at an intermediate rate between Rate I and Rate II and in the middle between the rates of metsulfuron methyl, which is the active ingredient in Ally, Cimarron and other common herbicides used in Dr. Stritzke’s trials.

In Dr. Strizke’s trials, the low rate of metsulfuron methyl was successful if applied in September. So, if a grower misses the July window with Remedy, then they might consider Cimarron or Cimarron Max in September. These are some tough plants to control, but if a producer will spray with the right product, right rate, and right time, I think it is something that can be controlled over time.

Please contact me in the extension office if you have any questions on this or any

other topic. Our office number is 918-253-4332 or come by our office at the Delaware County Fair Grounds along Highway 59 between Grove and Jay. Hope everyone has a good week!!