Time for California growers to start scouting for weedy rice

weedy rice in california
Weedy rice in a California rice field — photo courtesy UCCE

Now that clean-up herbicide applications are finishing, it is a good time to start thinking about weedy rice. If your field has a history of weedy rice, start scouting for watergrass-looking weeds.

Check patches of surviving grass. If the plants have no ligule, they are watergrass. If a ligule is present, they are rice (cultivated or weedy).

Also check the roughness of the leaves – weedy rice leaves feel rough as you slide your fingers up and down the leave.

If unsure, contact a University of California Cooperative Extension farm adviser or use the Weedy Rice Reporter app to send pictures and geographic location.

A farm adviser will take a look and let you know if the plants are weedy rice or just watergrass.

Pull weedy rice plants out of the field. Avoid leaving them on levees. Since the plants don’t have panicles yet, it is safe to discard them on dry areas near the field, but it is best to just take them to the dumpster.

For more information on identification, videos, and pictures, visit our website www.caweedyrice.com.

The University of California Cooperative Extension contributed this article.

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