Grains Research and Development

Barley grass

Barley grass  (Hordeum spp)


Seedling of barley grass
(Hordeum leporinum)
(Photo D. Holding)

Barley grasses are annual species renowned for rapidly germinating in autumn to provide valuable stock feed soon after breaking rain. This speedy establishment has traditionally been seen as a useful clue for early identification, but changes in seedbank dormancy now mean an increasing proportion of the seedbank is germinating later in the season.

Why barley grass is a problem? Barley grass is a problem for a number of reasons:

  • Barley grasses act as an alternate host for a number of cereal diseases
  • Seeds of barley grasses cause stock health problems
  • Post-emergent herbicide control is limited in cereals
  • Barley grasses are readily dispersed
  • Populations of barley grasses can develop resistance to herbicides

Further detail about this weed including integrated weed management tactics that could be considered when developing a management plan can be found in the section on problem weeds in the Integrated Weed Management Manual.

Further information

Ecology and biology of common weeds are outlined in section 6 of the Integrated Weed Management Manual.