Johnson grass

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I'm getting more and more Johnson grass in my Tifton 44 Bermuda grass. I've read about Plateau herbicide, but I'm concerned about temporary slowing of bermuda grass growth. Anybody out there who has used it?

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Johnsongrass is not really a problem in Iowa, so we have relatively little on its control in forage land. A few producers in Iowa are experimenting wih WorldFeeder' bermudagrass, and finding winterkill and winter injury a limitation this far north.

I think you should contact a weed specialist in a state that has both bermudagrass and Johnsongrass. Below is the contact information for a 'forages' weed specialist in Georgia:

Timothy R. Murphy TProfessor and Extension Agronomist - Weed Science Georgia Station 1109 Experiment Street Griffin, GA 30223-1797 Phone 770-228-7300 Fax 770-412-4774 E-Mail <A HREF="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</A>

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My herbicide supply store tells me that Plateau is reputed to work o.k. but that it is quite expensive, and they don't have any local users of it to assess it's affectiveness first hand. I have never tried it, nor do I know anyone that has. The supply store guy with whom I spoke also said that he didn't really think there was a clear cut "winner" to use on johnson grass in bermuda, i.e. one that kills out johnson grass and leaves bermuda undamaged. If your johnson grass infestation is still pretty manageable you may want to just go and do spot spraying with Roundup or anything else that will kill it, using a backpack sprayer or a small Spiedel weed wiper. And of course try to kill it before it goes to seed. That should cause only minimal damage to the bermuda, albeit a somewhat labor intensive method.
I just talked to a different farm herbicide dealer and he confirmed your fears regarding Plateau's effect on bermuda. He also said Oasis is sometimes used but with similar deteimental effect on bermuda. He said that around here (southeast Texas) most folks steer clear of Plateau and Oasis and instead use the spot spray with Roundup treatment, with many using the weed wiper device so as to keep damage to bermuda to a minimum.

The weed wipers work real well when mounted on a 4-wheeler. Soon after you make a cutting I would think that the Johnson grass would be a good bit taller than the Tifton, so it ought to be relatively easy to go through there with a weed wiper and hit only the Johnson grass. Hope this helps.

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