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invasive johnson grass in mississippi

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Abstract
Johnsongrass is an invasive weed that has a native origin in the Mediterranean, and current habitat is in the US. In the US the Johnson grass is majorly found along roadsides, along sideways, at the ditches, in cracks and distributed soils. The johnsongrass is a poisonous weed that contains elements of cyanide and whenever it is stressed it can result in poisoning of grazing animals and plants. The johnsongrass causes poisoning whenever it is disturbed through the action of grazing herds in the fields, when it is sprayed or during winter seasons. Due to such effects of the weed to crops and livestock the state has come up with different methods of preventing the establishment of the weed in the fields before it spreads over a wide area. The methods include repeated tilling, continuous grazing and mowing, application of Touchdown and Roundup and biologically freezing in winter. The johnsongrass is very resistant grass that can only be controlled by preventing its establishment. When it establishes in a field, it becomes invasive and difficult to manage using the available control methods. Therefore Johnson grass is an invasive weed that mostly exists in parts of Mississippi and has caused a global issue. When it is not prevented, it can affect numerous crops and livestock and ultimately result in low productivity and poor health in the livestock.
Keywords: poisonous, invasive, prevent, establishment, effective, native, grass, foliage, stress

Invasive johnsongrass in the Mississippi area
Introduction
Johnsongrass which is scientifically known as sorghum halepense is a fast-growing enduring grass that can grow to a height of 7 feet.

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Its native origin is within the Mediterranean region of Asia and Europe, but the current habitat is in the US where it grows along roadsides, ditches, cracks, along sidewalks and in disturbed soils. The grass can easily distribute itself through a system of rhizomes which are horizontal roots found underground. The leaf blades of the johnsongrass are 1cm in width and can grow up to a length of 2ft. The Johnsongrass is an invasive weed which decreases the yield percentage in soybeans and corn by 40% and 30% respectively. The foliage obtained from the johnsongrass can be used as animal feed, but unfortunately, they contain toxic cyanide which is produced when it is stressed and can poison livestock. All of the factors as mentioned earlier make it one of world known noxious weeds that should be controlled using relevant methods.
Methodology
The best available control method that applies to the johnsongrass is preventing it from developing since it can spread in numerous ways. Repeated tilling after a few weeks in the summer can be used to control the johnsongrass. In the winter, the rhizomes freeze out, and this assists in controlling infestations (Nazzaro, 1). The moment the weed is establishing itself, it can be killed to prevent its spread in the fields through an application of Touchdown and Roundup in sites where it is already established. The method will kill emerging tissues and the rhizomes which are developing. Continuous gazing and mowing for two years weakens the plant and stunts its growth thus concentrating the rhizomes on the soil surface.

Results
Regular tilling removes the rhizomes of the Johnsongrass hence reducing its infestation in the fields. The johnsongrass even though, it is perennial, it cannot survive in winter seasons since it freezes out thus inhibiting its establishment. Mowing and hand removal eradicates some population of the grass. The application of Touchdown and roundup kills the rhizome and prevents it from spreading (Nazzaro, 1). Continuous grazing weakens the weed and limits its growth hence the rhizomes becomes concentrated near the surface of the soil. The process of regular tilling prevents the manifestation of the rhizomes in fields.
Conclusion
In conclusion, Johnsongrass is an invasive weed that spreads quickly in the fields and covers a wide area leading to negative growth in crops. The weed contains poisonous cyanide that can poison the livestock while grazing since grazing causes stress to the johnsongrass. To control the establishment and infestation of the johnsongrass, control methods of continuous mowing and grazing, repeated tilling, application of Touchdown and Roundup are appropriate. Therefore, johnsongrass is an invasive weed which can be controlled by preventing its manifestation in the fields.

Work cited
Nazzaro, Robin. “Invasive Species: Cooperation and Coordination Are Important for Effective Management of Invasive Weeds: GAO-05-185.” GAO Reports, U.S. Government Accountability Office, 25 Feb. 2005, p. 1. EBSCOhost, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=18174656&site=ehost-live.
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