Managing Cuscuta gronovii (Swamp Dodder) in Cranberry Requires an Integrated Approach
Dodders ( Cuscuta spp.) are parasitic plants that threaten the sustainability of many crops. Because this parasite is very adept and successful from biological and ecological perspectives, a single control strategy is unlikely to provide sufficient economic control. Dodder ( C. gronovii ) is a particularly serious pest in commercial cranberry ( Vaccinium macrocarpon ) production. Multiple viable strategies must be integrated and tailored into a weed management plan to provide acceptable control. The key to sustainable management of this serious pest will require a combination of chemical and cultural approaches, supported by understanding the complicated nature of dodder biology. Research from small fruit production systems like cranberry into the biology of dodder (e.g., germination patterns, host preference, use of plant growth regulators) may provide insights that could ultimately be useful for other crop system management plans. This paper will present the current knowledge base for integrated management of dodder in cranberry as well as highlight relevant research from other crops and potential topics for future research.
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