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Green Foxtail

Pest Profile: Green Foxtail

A heavy seed producer, green foxtail can release up to 34,000 seeds per plant, and its fibrous root system helps it gather nutrients even in the toughest conditions. Fortunately, this pest is a poor competitor and can be controlled with herbicide applications and tighter row spacing.
Green Foxtail



  • Annual
  • Grassy


Plants are 8-24 inches high. Look for green cylindrical heads that are 1-4 inches long and appear soft and bristly. Its leaf blades are hairless, rough and flat, with a pointed blade from 2-10 inches long. Stems are smooth and hairless. During the seedling stage, look for fine, upward-pointing barbs on the leaf margins and surface. Flowers are densely grouped in a bristly, elongated panicle.


  • Scout fields frequently for this weed; under hot conditions, green foxtail can grow quickly and escape the herbicide application window.
  • At approximately 34,000 seeds per plant, it’s a heavy seed producer; however, it’s a poor competitor. Healthy crop stand establishment due to proper fertilization and early seeding will help your crop outcompete this weed. Barley and canola compete well with green foxtail.
  • Using slightly higher seeding rates will further reduce green foxtail’s competition. In addition, weed populations will generally decline with reduced or no-till systems.


Please read each label to determine which herbicide is appropriate for the crop affected.