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Sandbur Control for Turfgrass Professionals

Photo credit – https://hnr.k-state.edu/extension/info-center/common-pest-problems/common-pest-problem-new/Grassy%20Sandbur.pdf

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

It is that time of year where we are going to start seeing more and more summer annual grassy weeds emerge, especially if you didn’t get a preemergent herbicide down.  One of that problematic summer annual weeds is sandbur (Longspine sandbar – Cenchrus longispinus; field sandbar – Cenchrus incertus).  These sandbur species are often found in sandy soils but can grow in a wide range of soil conditions.  They can appear to look like crabgrass and foxtail but the seedheads are spike-like racemes with bur-like fruit.  This is the major problem.  These seedheads can cause physical injury to a person, animals and equipment.

There is good news.  Like many of the other summer annual weeds you can control sandbar with preemerge herbicides if you follow the recommendations for preemergent crabgrass control.

But if you have an escape or didn’t treat with a preemerge herbicide this year you have a couple of options;

  • Herbicides that contain fenoxaprop (Acclaim Extra, Last Call), MSMA or topramazone (Pylex) are most effective (≥ 90% control).
  • To achieve 75-90% control use; asulam (Asulox), fluazifop (Fusillade II, Ornamec), imazapic (Plateau), sethoxydim (Segment II) and sulfentrazone + imazethapyr (Dismiss South).
  • Atrazine (AAtrex) and simazine (Princep) provide fair control (50-75%)
  • The flowing herbicides have resutled in some activitly but ≤50% control.
    • 2,4-D+quinclorac+dicamba (Momentum Q, Quincept)
    • carfentrazone+2,4-D+MCPP+dicamba (Speedzone)
    • ethofumesate (Prograss)
    • foramsulfuron (Revolver)
    • imazaquin (Image 70DG)
    • mesotrione (Tenacity)
    • metsulfuron (Manor, Mansion)
    • metsulfuron + rimsulfuron (Negate 37WG)
    • pronamide + quinclorac (Cavalcade PQ)
    • pronamide (Kerb)
    • quinclorac (Drive XLR8)
    • quinclorac + sulfentrazone +2,4-D + dicamba (Q4 Plus)
    • sulfentrazone (Dismiss)
    • sulfentrazone + quinclorac (Solitare)
    • trifloxysulfuron (Monument)

For more information on sandbur and many other weeds, check out Turfgrass Weed Control for Professionals 2019 Edition – https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/Item.aspx?catId=545&pubId=20239

****Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application.****

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

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