Weed of the Week: Texas Millet

Jason Bond, Research/Extension Weed Scientist
By Jason Bond, Research/Extension Weed Scientist September 6, 2012 08:21

Written by:  Aly Shinkle, Jason Bond, and Tom Eubank

Texas Millet
Family:  Poaceae
Scientific name:  Urochloa texana (Buckl.)
Synonyms:  Texas panicum, buffalograss, Coloradograss

Collar region of Texas millet

Texas millet is an annual grass that may grow semi-erect or close to the ground with ascending tips (decumbent growth habit).  It is noted for its velvet-like, supple leaf blades and sheaths. Leaf blades are relatively wide, range from 3 to 11 inches in length, and are covered on top and bottom with short, soft hairs. The ligule is a short membrane fringed with thick hairs. A mature plant can reach to 2.5 feet tall and may root at the lowest nodes. The infloresence is a simple panicle that is 3 to 10 inches in length. Individual seeds are large compared with other summer annual grasses. Texas millet can easily be confused with large crabgrass (Digitaria sanguinalis) and broadleaf signalgrass (Urochloa platyphylla) during the seedling stage. Large crabgrass is distinguished from Texas millet by the ligule, which is a large, flat membrane.  Whereas Texas millet is covered on leaf blades and sheaths with soft hairs, broadleaf signalgrass only exhibits hairs along the margins of leaf blades and sheaths.

 Texas millet is native to the southern United States, specifically Texas, where it is a troublesome weed of pastures and row crops in some regions of the state. In Mississippi, it can be found in crop fields, pastures, roadsides, and untended areas.  Texas millet is often difficult to control with chloroacetamide herbicides (Dual Magnum, Warrant).  Best control options for include incorporated applications of dinitroaniline herbicides (Treflan, Prowl H2O).

 Bryson, C.T. and M.S. DeFelice. 2009. Weeds of the South. Athens, GA: University of Georgia Press. pp. 423

Seedling Texas millet

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Jason Bond, Research/Extension Weed Scientist
By Jason Bond, Research/Extension Weed Scientist September 6, 2012 08:21
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  1. turner massey September 12, 22:29

    have you noticed all of the puncture vine that’s been showing up around field borders and turnroads. i’ve noticed its getting to be a widespread weed problem around coahoma county !!

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    • Jason Bond, Research/Extension Weed Scientist Author September 13, 07:21

      Puncturevine is native to Europe, but it can be found throughout the continental United States. It prefers sandy or well-drained soils. I have seen it most in Texas, but I have also observed more of it in MS recently. Knowing some of the soil textures in Coahoma County, it does not surprise me that you are seeing it in that area. It seems there are more and more weeds popping up where they have not been in the past. I think most of this is related to farm size, grain trucks, and equipment just covering a larger geographic area than in years past.

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