Rattail Fescue

Pest: Rattail Fescue (Vulpia myuros)

Pest Type: Weed, grass

Major Identifying Features: Rattail fescue can reach up to 2 feet tall, has narrow leaf blades that are folded and hairless, seed heads are in slender panicle up to 8 inches in length

Life Cycle: Winter annual, begins growing in spring and matures early in May to June, self-pollinating, reproduces by seed only

Pest Rating: Moderate

Management Rating: Moderate

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: Widespread in California, increases in fields using direct-seeding cropping systems, reduced tillage and greater reliance on herbicides in the direct-seed system appear to have tipped the scales in favour of this annual fescue, can be found in habitats ranging from sagebrush to chaparral-mountain shrub to annual grasslands, prefers disturbed sites

Damage Information: Reduces habitat of native perennial grasses, can form dense mats of residue, residue can be allelopathic to wheat seedlings by reducing root and shoot elongation, it is intolerant of repeated tillage, glyphosate not effective

Management Options: Chemical control with early applications, later applications are largely ineffective, prevention with crop rotation






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