Barley grass is a problematic annual weed species in Australia, typically growing in areas with less than 425 mm of rainfall. It is commonly found in crop fields and pastures, on roadside verges and in livestock enclosures. Although valued for animal feed in pastures early in the season, upon maturity the long barbed awns of barley grass seeds irritate livestock and entangle in wool, reducing productivity and product quality. Barley grass can also serve as a host for pathogenic fungi and nematodes in cereal-growing areas.
Windmill grass (WMG) is a short-lived perennial grass species that has been problematic in the northern cropping region of Australia and is now becoming more common in the southern region. It establishes on roadsides and in summer-fallow, where over-reliance on glyphosate has led to the development of resistance. An understanding of windmill grass biology will help guide management choices to enable successful long-term control. This factsheet includes findings from recent research by the Weed Science Group at the University of Adelaide.
Already a major weed in the northern cropping region of Australia, Feathertop Rhodes grass (FTR) is now occurring in fields in the southern and western cropping regions. FTR has been favoured by the shift towards reduced tillage. In addition, the heavy reliance on glyphosate that typically accompanies reduced tillage has led to resistance, further increasing the threat of FTR. An understanding of FTR biology will help guide management choices to enable successful long-term control. This factsheet includes findings from recent research by the Weed Science Group at the University of Adelaide.
Statice (Limonium lobatum) is a winter annual dicotyledonous weed of Mediterranean origin that has naturalised inland and along some coastal areas of southern Australia. This herbaceous weed from the Plumbaginaceae family is often found in areas of low to moderate rainfall on sandy to loamy soils that are calcareous, sodic and of neutral to high pH. Long-range dispersal is by seed, either through contamination of grain crops, harvest or tillage machinery, or by movement with livestock. Infestations are more common in pastures, roadsides and undisturbed habitats, however recently this weed has invaded cropping areas, particularly where crops are rotated with pasture. In the absence of effective early control, deep-rooted statice plants can compete with crops for nutrients and moisture, reducing crop growth and yield potential. In dense stands, crop yield losses can be as high as 20 to 30%. Statice can also cause problems at harvest, with green leaf material often discolouring and contaminating grain.
This weed is found throughout Australia, with the exception of Tasmania. The origin of this species is unknown, but it may be native to the Kimberly, Pilbara and desert regions of Western Australia. There are twelve species of Boerhavia in Australia, but B. coccinea is the most common in disturbed areas like agricultural fields or roadsides. It is a common summer weed species, and like most summer weeds it depletes soil moisture and nutrients, reducing the yield potential of the subsequent crop. This weed also acts as a green bridge for crop pests and disease, including scab disease, Melon viruses, Xylella fastidiosa disease of grapes and plague locusts. It can be a beneficial and highly palatable pasture species. Further updates are available here.