- Author: Robert J Keiffer
California is home to many exotic (non-native) weed species. One particular nasty rangeland weed species that can be found in Northern California and the North Coast is Barb(ed) Goatgrass (Aegilops triuncialis L.). This plant is native to the Mediterranean region of Europe, and was first observed in California in the early 1900s. Apparently it was first brought into the state with the importation of Mexican cattle to El Dorado and Sacramento Counties. For more detailed information about Barb Goatgrass please go here to see the UC-ANR-Barb Goatgrass information site.
Here at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center we can proudly say that the Center is 99.9% yellow-star thistle free ... from decades of diligent control. However, the Center lost the battle with Barb Goatgrass about 20 years ago. It is now rampant in all pastures, all elevations, and all soil types on the Center. The Center's sheep flock is purposely sheared prior to the seed development and seed-head drop of barb goatgrass, but the nasty seedheads still create misery for the sheep (see first photo below).
If you are a rangelands manager in the North Coast you should be well aware of what this noxious grass looks like (see second photo), monitor your rangelands for it, and take strong and quick management efforts to eradicate it before it spreads and gets beyond control.