Get on controlling foxtail barley early

The weed is becoming more prevalent in the southwest

Foxtail barley is getting worse in southwest Manitoba and it’s best controlled before seeding, says Lionel Kaskiw, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development’s farm production specialist in Souris.

“It seems to be a weed that has taken over since 2011 in some fields and producers are having some issues on how to control it,” Kaskiw said in a webinar May 13. “It seems to do well in wet areas, which we have lots of now and saline areas.”

Foxtail barley also seems to thrive in untilled areas. It produces a lot of seed, which can germinate through the growing season, even in cool, damp soils, he said.

Tillage can help control the weed.

A late-fall or early-spring application of glyphosate (see the Guide for Field Crop Protection for rates) can also be effective, Kaskiw said.

Ideally, a spring application of glyphosate will be applied to foxtail barley at the one- to two-leaf stage, but last week in the southwest some plants were already at the two- to three-leaf stage.

If spraying foxtail barley early, few other weeds will be present, so Kaskiw suggests spot spraying, then hitting them again when doing a field-wide pre-seed burn-off.

In-crop herbicide (broadleaf) applications only suppress foxtail barley, Kaskiw said. However, a tank mix of glyphosate and Everest before the crop has emerged, followed later with an in-crop application of Everest is providing better and longer control, Kaskiw said.

About the author

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Allan Dawson

Allan Dawson is a reporter with the Manitoba Co-operator based near Miami, Man. Covering agriculture since 1980, Dawson has spent most of his career with the Co-operator except for several years with Farmers’ Independent Weekly and before that a Morden-Winkler area radio station.

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