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Brome grass is an annual weed and a member of the grass family, Poaceae, although it also occasionally occurs as a perennial in habitats subject to permanent winter rainfall; in such cases, drought is required and it is referred to as winter brome grass.Smooth Brome is best adapted to cooler climates and is generally hardier than Tall Fescue or orchardgrass. It is resistant to drought and extremes in temperature. Smooth Brome is susceptible to disease in areas of high humidity. Smooth Brome grows best on slightly acidic to slightly alkaline well-drained clay loam soils with high fertility but it will also grow well on lighter textured soils where adequate moisture and fertility are maintained. Smooth Brome performs best in a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. Stands are difficult to obtain and growth is poor on soils high in soluble salts.
A clean firm seedbed is needed. Due to the slow germination and establishment of Smooth Brome, spring seedings are especially preferred in the northern states. In southern areas, late summer seedings are a second option. Fall seedings should be made at least 6 weeks before a killing frost is expected. Seeding rates are typically 5-10 pounds/acre in mixtures, and about 10 to 20 pounds/acre when seeded alone. When Smooth Brome is seeded in a mixture with Alfalfa, the alternate row method will give the best results. Seeding depth is approximately 1⁄2 inch. If broadcast increase the seeding rate and cultipack after planting.
Bromus is distinguished from other grass genera by a combination of several morphological characteristics, including leaf sheaths that are closed (connate) for most of their length, awns that are usually inserted subapically, and hairy appendages on the ovary. The leaf blades and sheaths, which comprise the leaves can be hairless, sparsely hairy or hairy. The inflorescence is a dense or open panicle, usually drooping or nodding, sometimes spreading (as in Japanese brome, B. japonicus). The two species of brome grass that cause problems in crops are Bromus diandrus – great or green brome and B. rigidus – rigid or red brome. They cannot be distinguished at the vegetative stage. B. rigidus is more common in low rainfall, calcareous soils in the northern Mallee. B. diandrus is the main species in the southern Mallee and Wimmera – and is spreading into higher rainfall areas. (Source: agriculture.vic.gov.au)