, Volume 85, Issue 1, pp 17-21
Date: 03 Jan 2012

Feasibility of solar tents for inactivating weedy plant propagative material

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Abstract

Solar tents, which are safe, inexpensive, and easy to construct, can be used to inactivate unwanted weed plant propagative materials, onsite. During two field trials in the San Joaquin Valley of California, from Sept 2 to 7, 2010, solar tents produced diurnal temperature maxima within closed sample bags of 63.5–76.7°C. The mean maximum temperatures within the sample bags were 32.9–42.1°C higher than those of ambient air, and temperatures ≥60°C were maintained for 3.2–6.0 h each afternoon during the field trials. Rhizome segments, excavated and excised from a local infestation of the important weed pest Sorghum halepense (johnsongrass), were used to evaluate effects of the treatment on weedy plant tissues with vegetative propagation capability. The rhizomes were completely destroyed following confinement within tents for 3 days. Construction suggestions for building onsite solar tents are presented, with emphasis on use of locally available materials. In sufficiently warm climatic areas and weather conditions, solar tents can provide a useful alternative for inactivating weed propagative materials. Potential uses include destruction of quarantined, propagative materials following regulatory roguing interventions in remote locations, or routine roguing of limited scale areas to remove invasive weeds.

Communicated by M. Traugott.