Grains Research and Development

Date: 02.09.2013

Feathertop Rhodes grass

Feathertop Rhodes Grass Fact Sheet cover page

Over the past two decades, feathertop Rhodes grass has gone from being a minor cropping weed to a major problem for northern – and now some southern – growers. However, with an integrated weed management approach, effective control is possible.

Key points

  • Feathertop Rhodes grass (FTR) is well established in the northern grains region and is emerging as a problem in the south.
  • FTR can be relatively tolerant to glyphosate, especially after early tillering.
  • The only way to control FTR effectively is to use an integrated weed management (IWM) approach.
  • Focus on running down the weed seedbank and preventing seed set.
  • Choose competitive cultivars and use planting densities to improve crop competition.
  • Select crops that allow the in-crop use of grass-selective (Group A) herbicides and residual herbicides. If FTR is concentrated in a particular paddock, rotate away from crops with limited FTR control options (such as sorghum).
  • Group A herbicides have a high risk of resistance developing, so only use them as part of a carefully considered IWM plan. If Group A is made redundant, all in-crop grass management options are lost.
  • Always sow crops into weed-free conditions.
  • Pre-emergent herbicides will be most effective when applied prior to sowing rain.
  • The double-knock tactic can be effective, and there are a number of available options.
  • The efficacy of herbicides against FTR drops rapidly when plants are larger than the
  • early tillering stage or are moisture stressed, so spray as soon as possible after rain
  • for best results.
  • Delay sowing of summer crops on paddocks with a high density of FTR.

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Region North, South, West