Preventing the Spread of Medusahead

Last week we looked at why Medusahead Rye is so dangerous. This week Beth shares how we can prevent its spread. These tips are important for preventing the spread of all kinds of weedy species, so check them out and use them, even if you don't have Medusahead. Preventing medusahead from establishing in new areas is far more cost-effective than trying to control it after invasion. A prevention program should include: 1) preventing the introduction of medusahead seed, 2) reducing site susceptibility and 3) establishing a program for early detection and monitoring. How are medusahead seeds spread? Medusahead seeds are small, with long awns barbed with silica scales. These seeds easily attach to animals, clothing, vehicles, and machinery. Although most seed remains in, or near, a medusahead infested area, seeds can move much longer distances in a variety of ways. A study in southeast Oregon showed that medusahead infestations are often concentrated along travel routes, primarily along unimproved roads and secondly along hiking and animal trails. This indicates that cars and trucks, construction equipment, and farm machinery are the primary sources that move medusahead seed into a clean area, but animals and humans also move seed (Davies et al. 2013). USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Hitchcock, A.S. (rev. A. Chase). 1950. Manual of the grasses of the United States. USDA Misc. Publ. No. 200. Washingt

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