Rough-stalk bluegrass in Michigan challenges alfalfa and hay producers

Forage producers are invited to a webinar discussing what to do in hay fields with a grass or alfalfa mix and rough-stalk bluegrass on June 30.

In 2009, forage producers found a wiry grass in alfalfa fields that caused them to wonder what was causing the quality of their timothy alfalfa mixed hay fields to go down so quickly. Rough-stalk bluegrass (Poa trivialis L.) was identified and subsequently been found in many locations across Michigan. After first cutting, on-farm research trials were established in Lapeer County where farmers had severe infestations. Additional trials were also established in the spring of 2010 in dormant fields. An updated, "Rough-stalk bluegrass: a weed in legume-grass forages in Michigan," highlighting the options producers have for control of rough-stalk bluegrass is now available for those who may have a problem with this invasive grass. Options for control include treatments after first cutting.

Rough-stalk bluegrass is a common weed species in golf courses, athletic turf and lawns, and a major problem for grass seed producers in the western United States. Early maturity is one of the distinctive features of this cool season grass that makes it difficult to manage effectively. An additional problem is that this bluegrass is closely related to other cool-season grasses making it hard to control without hurting desirable grass species.

Producers and agribusinesses are encouraged to view the webinar online at their offices, homes (high-speed Internet required), library, or contact their local MSU Extension office to register prior to viewing the webinar.

To register for the webinar, please call Lapeer County MSU Extension at 810-667-0341 or email Tina House by Wednesday, June 29.

To access the webinar, go to this link:

Follow the prompts for your name and enter as a guest.

Name: Control of rough-stalk bluegrass
Start Time: June 30 at 9:30 AM
Duration: 1 hour

A forage factsheet, "Rough-stalk bluegrass: a weed in legume-grass forages in Michigan," has been developed by MSU Forage Information Systems to provide producers and agribusinesses a reference tool for proper identification as well as control options.

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