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PNW Downy Brome Management Guide Available

Downy brome (Bromus tectorum), commonly called cheatgrass, has been a major weed in winter wheat in the Pacific Northwest for decades. It is generally more of a problem in low rainfall areas in the winter wheat-fallow rotation, but can also cause significant yield losses under two-year annual cropping rotations in higher precipitation zones. Although downy brome can be a problem regardless of tillage system used, it can be particularly troublesome under conservation tillage systems unless effective weed management strategies are implemented. A new Northwest Extension publication is available to growers and farm advisor to help them develop effective management strategies in conservation tillage systems.

AManaging Downy Brome under Conservation Tillage Systems in the Inland Northwest Cropping Region,@ was published as Pacific Northwest Extension Bulletin PNW0509. This 15-page color publication is a revision of Conservation Tillage Handbook Series No. 15 (similar title) in Chapter 5, which was published in 1994. This new publication was developed by a team of Northwest coauthors including: Joe Yenish - WSU, Roger Veseth - WSU/UI; Alex Ogg - formerly USDA-ARS, Donn Thill - UI, Dan Ball - OSU, Frank Young - ARS, Eric Gallandt - WSU, Don Morishita - UI, Carol Mallory-Smith - OSU, Don Wysocki - OSU, and Tom Gohlke - NRCS.

This publication provides an overview of the weed biology and strategies for reducing the soil seed bank in conservation tillage systems. It reviews two management strategies: 1) "Maintenance" control strategies to control a light to moderate downy brome infestation which caused minimal crop yield loss; and 2) "Reclamation" control strategies which include a temporary change in crop rotation to recover from a dense infestation of downy brome which caused substantial yield loss, or may reduce future yield potential to near crop failure levels. Key management goals in both strategies are to: 1) facilitate seed germination, since the seed is relatively short-lived in the soil -- generally not more than 2 years; 2) prevent seed production in fallow with early control; and 3) minimize seed production in crop through selection and timing of various cultural and chemical options.

Copies of this PNW Extension bulletin are available for $4.50 through county extension offices in applicable dryland areas of the Pacific Northwest. You can also order them directly from the state extension publication offices: ID (208) 885-7982; OR (541) 737-2513; WA (509) 335-2999.


Contact us: Hans Kok, (208)885-5971 | Accessibility | Copyright | Policies | WebStats | STEEP Acknowledgement
Hans Kok, WSU/UI Extension Conservation Tillage Specialist, UI Ag Science 231, PO Box 442339, Moscow, ID 83844 USA
Redesigned by Leila Styer, CAHE Computer Resource Unit; Maintained by Debbie Marsh, Dept. of Crop & Soil Sciences, WSU