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University of California
University of California, Agriculture & Natural Resources
Small smutgrass is an incredibly invasive weed that is threatening California’s irrigated pasture lands. It wipes out native grasses and plants, and grazing cattle won’t touch it. With the total available acreage of irrigated pasture already far below demand, ranchers saw this weed as a serious concern. A team of UCCE specialists and advisors soon devised an effective control method, applying an herbicide with a rotary wiper to ensure that the herbicide was only applied to the smutgrass, doing no damage to the desirable native plants. The team arranged for the local Resource Conservation District to purchase a wiper and lease it to pasture managers, thus saving each of them the cost of having to buy one of their own. The UCCE team continues to educate pasture managers on smutgrass control, and many acres of pasture have been reclaimed from the invasive weed.
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