Could Italian ryegrass be Defeated with an IWM Plan?

Italian ryegrass is a problematic weed in cereals, grass seed crops, and grain crops planted no-till.  It can result in significant yield losses if this weed is not controlled. Farmers in the US struggle to manage this weed, particularly in areas where Italian ryegrass has evolved herbicide resistance.

To search for alternative or complementary weed management tactics to herbicides, an USDA-NIFA funded project started in 2016 at two locations: College Station, TX and Newport, AR. The experiment evaluated the performance of different IWM strategies in a long-term field trial. This study included crop rotation, comparing continuous wheat, with wheat-fallow (TX) or wheat-soybeans (AR). Strategies targeting weed seeds included Harvest Weed Seed Control treatment (windrow burning) as well as tillage in the form of disking after harvest. The combination of different IWM tactics, together with natural seed predation and common chemical options, resulted in a drastic reduction in the weed seed bank after four years.

In this video you will find the preliminary results from this large-scale field trial done in Texas. Final results will be discussed in future posts.

Researchers: Dr. Muthu Bagavathiannan and Dr. Jason Norsworthy

Edits: Kara Pittman and Mark VanGessel

Video: Claudio Rubione