Low rate of aminopyralid nearly eliminates viable seed production in barb goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis) in the greenhouse.
Invasive annual grasses such as medusahead [Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski] and barb goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis L.) are negatively impacting grasslands of the western United States. Over the last decade, research has shown that aminopyralid and other growth-regulator herbicides applied just before flowering greatly reduce viable seed production in several invasive annual grasses. Moreover, it has been shown with T. caput-medusae that using aminopyralid to reduce seed production in one year consistently reduces and sometimes nearly eliminates cover the following year. Our goal in this study was to extend this research to A. triuncialis, a weed for which limited herbicide and other management options exist. Based on previous research, we hypothesized aminopyralid applied several days before flowering at just 22% of the maximum registered rate (0.069 kg ae ha-1) would almost completely prevent production of viable A. triuncialis seeds in the greenhouse. In four experiments, aminopyralid reduced seed viability from between 65% and 95% to between 1% and 5%. Therefore, aminopyralid will likely control A. triuncialis in the field. Because aminopyralid is phytotoxic to many broadleaf species, it may be possible to use aminopyralid to simultaneously control mixed stands of invasive forbs, A. triuncialis, and T. caput-medusae. However, there are risks to applying aminopyralid where native and desirable nonnative forbs occur. Past research on T. caput-medusae suggests controlling A. triuncialis with aminopyralid will increase production of desirable annual forage grasses.