Rattail fescue, a winter annual grass weed, has been increasing in Pacific Northwest (PNW) dryland cereal producing areas. Although rattail fescue is not a new weed species in the PNW, its incidence is expanding rapidly in circumstances where soil disturbances are minimized such as in direct seed systems. Options for effective rattail fescue control in winter wheat cropping systems have not been adequately investigated and need to be developed. Rattail fescue control with herbicide treatments was investigated in imidazolinone-resistant winter wheat using imazamox and other herbicides. Across multiple sites and two growing seasons, crop injury from herbicide treatments was minor to negligible with some exceptions. Treatments containing imazamox or mesosulfuron produced minor, transient winter wheat crop injury at some locations in some years. With the exception of flufenacet applied preemergence (PRE), control of rattail fescue in wheat was variable with single herbicide applications, but improved with sequential herbicide treatments. Rattail fescue biomass was greatly reduced by several treatments especially those containing flufenacet or from sequential herbicide application. Crop yield varied among sites due to growing season precipitation, and in some cases from rattail fescue control or herbicide related crop injury.
Nomenclature: diuron, flufenacet, imazamox, mesosulfuron, pendimethalin, sulfosulfuron, rattail fescue, Vulpia myuros (L.) K.C. Gmel. VLPMY, winter wheat, Triticum aestivum L. ‘ClearFirst’®