American Rats Tail Grass
American rat’s tail grass is a robust, tufted, perennial, clumping grass that grows to 50 to 75 centimetres high. It is very similar to giant rat’s tail grass and it can be difficult to tell them apart
Seed head that grows up to 25 centimetres long and is between 5 and 30 millimetres wide.
Habitat it can invade pastures and replace more productive types of grass.
Weed characteristics this grass can affect cattle health and productivity including finishing times, weaning percentages and a reduction of weights. It is difficult to control when mature and can become a serious fire hazard. It can quickly dominate a pasture, especially following overgrazing or soil disturbance. It out-competes desirable pasture grasses and causes significant degradation of natural areas.
Dispersal seeds can remain viable for up to 10 years and are spread by livestock, animals, on vehicles and machinery, in hay and untested pasture seed and by fast flowing water.
This species is a Class 2 declared plant under Queensland legislation.
How to act
Spraying with an appropriate herbicide is very effective. There are herbicides designed to target sporobolus grasses without harming other species. For scattered plants or isolated infestations hand chip, bag and removal of stool from paddock and burn. Dense infestations on arable land can be boom sprayed however ongoing treatment over a number of years is necessary. Grazing management methods can gain positive ongoing control.
Refer to Weed Control Methods.
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