NC State Extension Publications


Skip to Description

Barnyardgrass (Echinochloa crus-galli) is an upright summer annual weed of turfgrass. It is found in moist, disturbed sites, marshes, and wet turf areas. Barnyardgrass can most easily be distinguished from other grasses by its seedhead, and the fact that it has no ligule.

Cultural Control

Skip to Cultural Control

These grasses occur infrequently in North Carolina in highly maintained turf but can be common in utility turf, such as along roadsides. Maintaining a dense, healthy turf year round by proper mowing and fertilization helps prevent encroachment and weed establishment.

Chemical Control

Skip to Chemical Control

Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Postemergence Control
quinclorac, MOA (27 + 4) (various brands) 75DF 0.367 oz 1 lb 0.75
1.5 SL 1.45 fl oz 2 qt 0.75
Precautions and Remarks: For use in residential and nonresidential turf that is established or newly seeded, overseeded, or sprigged. Refer to label for specific varieties. Apply to common and hybrid bermudagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, annual bluegrass, buffalograss, tall fescue, annual and perennial ryegrass, creeping bentgrass, and zoysiagrass. Can also be applied to fine fescue but must be in a blend. Some discoloration of hybrid bermudagrass, creeping bentgrass or fine fescue may occur. Do not apply to bahiagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, or dichondra. Do not use on golf course greens or collars. The addition of methylated seed oil (1.5 pints per acre or 0.55 ounces per 1,000 square feet) or a crop oil concentrate (2 pint per acre or 0.73 ounces per 1,000 square feet) is required for control. Application to weeds under stress will result in poor control. Irrigation 24 hours prior to application is recommended if drought conditions exist. Some ornamental plants are sensitive to quinclorac. See label for further precautions.
[quinclorac + sulfentrazone + 2,4-D amine + dicamba], MOA (27 + 4) + 14 + 4 + 4 (1.79 L) (Q4 Plus) 1.8 to 3 fl oz 5 to 8 pt 1.12 to 1.79
Precaution and Remarks: For use in fully dormant bermudagrass as well as actively growing bermudagrass after spring greenup but use only 5 to 7 pints per acre. Also labeled in fully dormant zoysiagrass s well as cool-season turf including annual bluegrass and ryegrass, perennial bluegrass and ryegrass, and fescue species. Do not apply to bahiagrass, bentgrass (creeping, Seaside, Colonial), centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, carpetgrass, and golf course greens, tees, and collars. May be applied to home lawns. Apply to seedling grasses after second or third mowing, or 28 days after emergence. Wait 3 to 4 weeks after sodding, sprigging, or plugging operations to apply. Wait 4 weeks after application to seed.​
[quinclorac + mecoprop + dicamba], MOA (27 + 4) + 4 + 4 (2.45 SL) (Onetime) 0.5 to 1.45 fl oz 0.68 to 2 qt 0.4165 to 1.225
Precaution and Remarks: For use in warm- and cool-season residential and non-residential turf, including but not limited to commercial property, parks, roadsides, schools, athletic fields, cemeteries, and golf courses. May be applied to species of bermudagrass, bluegrass, fescue, and ryegrass as well as creeping bentgrass, seashore paspalum, and zoysiagrass. Use with methylated seed oil at 1.5 pints per acre. Allow 28 days of seedling or sprig growth before application. If treating first, allow 28 days before seeding or sprigging. Do not apply to golf course collars or greens or to turf grown for sod. Use low rate in 2 split applications when treating creeping bentgrass.
[carfentrazone + quinclorac], MOA 14 + (27 + 4) (75 WG) (SquareOne) 0.184 to 0.413 oz 8 to 18 oz 0.35 to 0.79
Precaution and Remarks: Can use up to 12 ounces per acre 7 days after emergence from seed or sod installment on bluegrass and fescue species and perennial ryegrass; 18 ounces per acre can be used 7 days after seed, sod or sprig operations on bermudagrass species, centipedegrass and seashore paspalum. Wait 14 days after emergence for zoysiagrass. May apply to residential, commercial, and institutional lawns, athletic fields, sod farms, and golf course fairways and roughs. Adjuvants not required but may help on mature weeds.​
[sulfentrazone + quinclorac], MOA 14 + (27 + 4) (75 WG) (Solitaire) 0.367 to 0.735 oz 1 to 2 lb 0.75 to 1.5
Precaution and Remarks: Use up to 21 ounces per acre on well-established tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass; up to 32 ounces per acre on well-established bermudagrass, centipedegrass, zoysiagrass and seashore paspalum. May be applied to residential, commercial, and institutional lawns, athletic fields, sod farms, and golf course fairways and roughs. After treatment, wait at least 1 month before reseeding, overseeding (use slit seeder for best results), or sprigging. Wait at least 3 months for sod establishment and do not spray within 3 months of harvest. Controls goosegrass in the 1 to 4 leaf stage. Yellow nutsedge and kyllinga species are also controlled. Do not apply with a spray adjuvant.​
[fenoxaprop + fluroxypyr + dicamba], MOA 1 + 4 + 4 (0.75 EC) (Last Call) 1.3 to 1.5 fl oz 3.5 to 4 pt 0.33 to 0.375
Precautions and Remarks: Tolerant turfgrass species include zoysiagrass, Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine and tall fescue. May be applied to golf courses excluding greens and tees, athletic fields, commercial and residential turf. Sod farm use is not permitted. Best grass weed control will be achieved when treated from 1 leaf to 4 tiller stage. Do not apply more than 15 pints per acre per year. Do not reapply within 14 days of an application. Surfactant not required. Spot treat using 0.6 to 1 fluid ounces per 1 gallon water.

Species Data

Skip to Species Data
    • summer annual weed
    • sharp-pointed; edges rough, blades all in same plane
      Figure 11
    • 0.4 - 0.8 inches (10 - 20 mm) wide
    • absent
    • absent
    • flattened; sheath occasionally has short hairs; red- to purple-tinged at base
      Figure 16, Figure 17
Barnyardgrass seedhead

Figure 1. Barnyardgrass seedhead.

Barnyardgrass seedhead

Figure 2. Barnyardgrass seedhead.

Barnyardgrass seedhead

Figure 3. Barnyardgrass seedhead.

Barnyardgrass vernation

Figure 4. Barnyardgrass vernation.

Barnyardgrass vernation

Figure 5. Barnyardgrass vernation.

Barnyardgrass vernation

Figure 6. Barnyardgrass vernation.

Barnyardgrass vernation

Figure 7. Barnyardgrass vernation.

Barnyardgrass ligule

Figure 8. Barnyardgrass ligule.

Barnyardgrass auricle

Figure 9. Barnyardgrass auricle.

Barnyardgrass auricle

Figure 10. Barnyardgrass auricle.

Barnyardgrass leaf blade tip shape

Figure 11. Barnyardgrass leaf blade tip shape.

Barnyardgrass collar

Figure 12. Barnyardgrass collar.

Barnyardgrass collar

Figure 13. Barnyardgrass collar.

Barnyardgrass sheath

Figure 14. Barnyardgrass sheath.

Barnyardgrass sheath

Figure 15. Barnyardgrass sheath.

Barnyardgrass sheath

Figure 16. Barnyardgrass sheath.

Barnyardgrass sheath.

Figure 17. Barnyardgrass sheath.


Extension Specialist (Turfgrass/Forage Crop Weed Mgt)
Crop & Soil Sciences

Find more information at the following NC State Extension websites:

Publication date: Nov. 7, 2017

Recommendations for the use of agricultural chemicals are included in this publication as a convenience to the reader. The use of brand names and any mention or listing of commercial products or services in this publication does not imply endorsement by NC State University or N.C. A&T State University nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned. Individuals who use agricultural chemicals are responsible for ensuring that the intended use complies with current regulations and conforms to the product label. Be sure to obtain current information about usage regulations and examine a current product label before applying any chemical. For assistance, contact your local N.C. Cooperative Extension county center.

N.C. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment regardless of age, color, disability, family and marital status, gender identity, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation and veteran status.