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Grassy Weeds

Updated September 15, 2020

Paul O. Johnson

SDSU Extension Weed Science Coordinator

Grassy weeds are a problem in all field crops. They must be identified at early stages of growth so they can be controlled before crop yields are seriously threatened. Control measures are not the same for all grassy weeds, so accurate seedling identification is important.

Most grassy weeds and grain crops look very much alike in the seedling stages. However, if you look closely (a small hand lens helps) you can pick out the unique vegetative characteristics of each weed and crop seedling. Remnants of the seed coat are helpful to distinguish crop seedlings from grassy weeds; however, seed coat is often absent.