• Growth Regulator Herbicides Prevent Invasive Annual Grass Seed Production Under Field Conditions

      Rinella, Matthew J.; Masters, Robert A.; Bellows, Susan E. (Society for Range Management, 2010-07-01)
      Growth regulator herbicides, such as 2,4-D, dicamba, picloram, and aminopyralid, are commonly used to control broadleaf weeds in rangelands, noncroplands, and cereal crops. If applied to cereals at late growth stages, while the grasses are developing reproductive parts, the herbicides often reduce cereal seed production. We are researching methods for using this injury response to control invasive annual grasses in rangelands by depleting their short-lived seed banks. In a previous greenhouse study, we found picloram and dicamba reduced seed production of the invasive annual grass Japanese brome (Bromus japonicus Thunb.) by nearly 100%. However, this promising greenhouse finding needs to be corroborated in the field before growth regulators can be confidently recommended for invasive annual grass control. This research note describes a study conducted in eastern Montana suggesting growth regulators may provide excellent control of invasive annual grasses. Specifically, we found typical use rates of aminopyralid and picloram reduced Japanese brome seed production by more than 95% (based on sample means) when applied at three different plant growth stages. This promising result contributes to the accumulating body of evidence suggesting growth regulators may control invasive annual grasses.