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There was only one question in my head: what was up with the ferrets?barnyard grass, (Echinochloa crus-galli), also called barnyard millet or cockspur grass, coarse tufted grass of the family Poaceae, a noxious agricultural weed. Although native to tropical Asia, barnyard grass can be found throughout the world, thriving in moist cultivated and waste areas. In many areas outside its native range, however, it is considered to be an invasive species. The plant can severely deplete soil nitrogen levels in agricultural fields, leading to lower crop yields and even crop losses in areas with heavy infestation.Barnyard grass is an annual plant and can reach up to 105 cm (about 3.5 feet) in height. The leaves are flat and are borne on stems that are flattened near the base. The leaf sheath is usually open and lacks ligules (membranous or hairlike appendages of the leaf sheath). The plants flower in summer to early fall and bear tiny purplish flowers on erect or drooping inflorescences. Each plant can produce an estimated 40,000 seeds.
Studies show that a single barnyard grass per square foot can reduce rice yields by about 25%, and 25 barnyard grasses per square meter can cause about 50% yield loss. The mature plant grows higher than rice, so that it competes for sunlight, besides soil nutrients. It is also an alternate host for tungro and rice yellow dwarf viruses.Some of the species within this genus are millets that are grown as cereal or fodder crops. The most notable of these are Japanese millet (E. esculenta) in East Asia, Indian barnyard millet (E. frumentacea) in South Asia, and burgu millet (E. stagnina) in West Africa. Collectively, the members of this genus are called barnyard grasses (though this may also refer to E. crus-galli specifically), and are also known as barnyard millets or billion-dollar grasses.
The spikelets are green to purple, numerous, and located on branches of the flowering stem. Each spikelet has 1 floret and 2 empty glumes. The empty glume is often long-awned. Barnyard grass produces about 7,200 seeds per plant.Barnyard grass prefers warm, moist, soil conditions. It may become a problem in irrigated row crops (e.g., sugar beets and potatoes) because, the seeds float and are easily spread by flooding or heavy irrigation.Positively identify this weed. Barnyard grass resembles green foxtail at early stages and is often mistaken for it. Some herbicides that control green foxtail don't control barnyard grass.This weed has the ability to root at the nodes and can re-establish itself after a light cultivation. Barnyard grass may not be controlled by tillage in minimum tillage programs or when direct seeding with sweeps and you will have to adjust your weed control strategy accordingly.Herbicides registered for control of barnyard grass are available in cereal, oilseed and pulse crops. (Source: www.gov.mb.ca)