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Annual meadow-grass

Poa annua

Annual meadow-grass is the most common grass weed throughout the UK and although not highly yield robbing, it can cause inconvenience.

Due to its size the effect of annual meadow-grass on yield is limited, in excess of 50 plants per m² would be needed to reduce yield by 5%, but it does compete for nitrogen.

It can be annual or a short-lived perennial.

Annual Meadow-grass profile

Resistance riskResistance to paraquat and simazine was recorded in hops and orchards in the UK in 198 but no known resistance has been found in arable crops
LeavesLight green with a distinctive boat shaped tip, folded in the shoot
AuriclesNone
LigulesRoundly pointed and serrated, 2-5mm.
Number of seeds produced per plantUp to 500
Seed shedApril to November
Germination periodFebruary to November
Germination depthUp to 5cm
Primary dormancySome
Does it have a secondary dormancy?Some
Seed longevity>5 years
Rate of seed decline with cultivations45%
Geographical locationAnnual meadow-grass is the most common grass weed throughout most of the UK
Soil typeThe weed thrives on fertile soils which are disturbed frequently but it will grow in most conditions and withstands waterlogging or drought
ImpactDue to its size the effect of annual meadow-grass on yield is limited, in excess of 50 plants per m² would be needed to reduce yield by 5%, but it does compete for nitrogen. Its presence in the base of the crop at harvest can maintain moisture levels and slow the progress of combining.

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