Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ethanol Byproduct Can Help Control Weeds For Flower And Plant Growers

Date:
July 8, 2008
Source:
American Society for Horticultural Science
Summary:
Commercial flower and plant growers know all too well that invasive, ubiquitous weeds cause trouble by lowering the value and deterring healthy growth of potted ornamental plants. To control weeds, many commercial nursery owners apply herbicides or pay workers to hand-weed containers. A new study investigated using "dried distillers grains with solubles" or DDGS as a weed deterrent on potted ornamentals.

Tons of distiller's dried grains being held in storage at the ethanol plant in West Burlington, Iowa.
Credit: Photo by Steven Vaughn

Commercial flower and plant growers know all too well that invasive, ubiquitous weeds cause trouble by lowering the value and deterring healthy growth of potted ornamental plants. To control weeds, many commercial nursery owners resort to the expensive practice of paying workers to hand-weed containers.

Some growers use herbicides, but efficacy of herbicides is questionable on the wide range of plant species produced in nurseries, and many herbicides are not registered for use in greenhouses.

Enter "dried distillers grains with solubles", or DDGS. DDGS, a byproduct of converting corn to fuel ethanol, is typically used as livestock feed. Rick A. Boydston, Harold P. Collins, and Steve Vaughn, of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, undertook a research study on the use of DDGS as a weed deterrent on potted ornamentals. The study results, published in the February 2008 issue of HortScience, evaluated the use of DDGS as a soil amendment to suppress weeds in container-grown ornamentals.

Researchers applied DDGS two ways: to the soil surface, and mixed into the potting media of transplanted ornamentals. Applied to the soil surface after transplanting, DDGS caused no injury to plants. According to Dr. Boydston, an agronomist with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), "grains applied to the surface at rates that gave good coverage of the soil (800 and 1600 g/m2) reduced the number of common chickweed and annual bluegrass. Weed control was not perfect, but could reduce the amount of hand-weeding typically required."

When mixed into the potting media, however, dried distillers grains were toxic to transplanted rose, coreopsis, and phlox plants. Researchers concluded that DDGS may be useful for reducing weed emergence and growth in container-grown ornamentals when applied to the soil surface at transplanting. Dr. Boydston noted that additional research is needed to identify and confirm the safety (of using DDGS) to other ornamentals and effectiveness of controlling other types of weeds.

Dried distillers grains are becoming more readily available as ethanol production in the U.S. increases. The push to produce ethanol, a cleaner-burning alternative to gasoline, has gained interest as gasoline prices continue to soar.

As production increases, finding new uses for byproducts like DDGS becomes more critical. Dr. Boydston sees the results of this and similar ARS studies as a win/win for ethanol producers and the agriculture industry, noting, "identifying new uses for byproducts likes distillers grains could increase the profitability of ethanol production".


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Society for Horticultural Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

American Society for Horticultural Science. "Ethanol Byproduct Can Help Control Weeds For Flower And Plant Growers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080702101346.htm>.
American Society for Horticultural Science. (2008, July 8). Ethanol Byproduct Can Help Control Weeds For Flower And Plant Growers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080702101346.htm
American Society for Horticultural Science. "Ethanol Byproduct Can Help Control Weeds For Flower And Plant Growers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080702101346.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Mich. Boy Unearths 10,000-Year-Old Mastodon Tooth

Newsy (Apr. 20, 2014) A 9-year-old Michigan boy was exploring a creek when he came across a 10,000-year-old tooth from a prehistoric mastodon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home

AP (Apr. 18, 2014) Dairy farmers and ethnic groups in Vermont are both benefiting from a unique collaborative effort that's feeding a growing need for fresh and affordable goat meat. (April 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Man Claims He Found Loch Ness Monster With... Apple Maps?

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Andy Dixon showed the Daily Mail a screenshot of what he believes to be the mythical beast swimming just below the lake's surface. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

First Ever 'Female Penis' Discovered In Animal Kingdom

Newsy (Apr. 18, 2014) Not only are these newly discovered bugs' sex organs reversed, but they also mate for up to 70 hours. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins