List of Stories
Weeds play a major role in California crop production, costing growers millions of dollars annually. More than 250 plants are considered weeds, each with its own particular life cycle, growth habit, mode of reproduction, competitiveness and susceptibility to chemical or mechanical control. With so many crops grown in the state and the vast number of weed types, it is obvious that no one control program will work for all growers or in all situations. This means that farmers, pest control advisors (PCAs), managers and others involved in weed control must be able to identify the weeds that are present before deciding which management or control strategies to use.
Invasive and noxious weeds do not respect property lines or jurisdictions. To help prevent their introduction and spread, a public-private partnership that combines resources and expertise is required. These invasive plants are often detrimental or destructive to agriculture. They also degrade wildlife habitat and impair plant biodiversity.
Medusahead is an aggressive and invasive non-native annual grass causing severe undesirable effects on western rangelands. Medusahead grows on more than a million acres of grassland, oak woodland and chaparral shrubland in California. The presence of medusahead can reduce the land's livestock carrying capacity by as much as 75 percent. Medusahead also impacts ecosystems by reducing plant diversity, the productivity of desirable plants, and wildlife habitat. Medusahead control has been explored since the 1950s, but with limited success. Burning is an effective method, but it is not widely used because of air quality and liability issues. Herbicides are not practical in rough terrain and selective herbicides targeting medusahead are not available.