Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Cogongrass in Georgia: Spring 2013 Update

Cogongrass in Georgia:
Spring 2013 Update from the Georgia Forestry Commission
Cogongrass flowering(seed production) becoming visible.
First cogongrass spot detected in Turner County.

There have been 34 positive cogongrass detections thus far in 2013. Cogongrass has been detected in Turner County for the first time in 2013 bringing a total of 723 known cogongrass spots in Georgia scattered across 53 counties covering 189 acres. The status and treatment for each spot is at varying levels. The Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) recognizes a spot as eradicated after three (3) consecutive years of finding no cogongrass resprouts. Presently, 224 spots have been eradicated, 137 spots have been negative for two years, 131 spots have been negative for 1 year while the remaining 228 spots are active. Overall, approximately 70% of all known spots are now negative for cogongrass. The GFC will continue making follow-up site inspections and herbicide treatments beginning in May and continuing through the summer and early fall. Any landowner with questions regarding the status of the cogongrass spot(s) on their property should contact their Regional Forest Health Specialist.
Reports of Cogongrass as of 4-19-13
YEAR             Detected spots    Cum. # spots
Up to 2006             59                           59
2007                         37                           96
2008                         131                         227
2009                         110                         337
2010                          135                         472
2011                           130                         602
2012                           87                           689
2013                           34                           723
How do you identify cogongrass flowers?
Cogongrass shoots in Georgia are beginning to emerge. Therefore, it is time to begin looking for cogongrass in its flowering stage. The flowers are 2-8 inches in length; light, fluffy dandelion-like seeds that are white in color and cylindrical in shape. Flowering time is dependent on the local climate, but is usually present from late March through early June. The cool spring weather in 2013 delayed the beginning of flowering until mid April in much of South Georgia. The photos below show cogongrass flowering at its peak, dispersal period.
What are the top five cogongrass detecting counties in Georgia?

Decatur 163 sites
Seminole 82 sites
Early 65 sites
Grady 55 sites
Thomas 51 sites

Currently in 2013, cogongrass has been detected in 14 counties across south Georgia including: Baker, Brooks, Calhoun, Camden, Charlton, Colquitt, Decatur, Early, Grady, Mitchell, Seminole, Terrell, Thomas and Turner counties. Landowners are encouraged to inspect their property for cogongrass and report any new potential detections to the local Georgia Forestry Commission county office.
Cogongrass identification brochure and pocket ID available from the GFC:
Landowners are encouraged to spend time on their property searching for this invasive grass. Normally, cogongrass grows in circular patches. Identification brochures are available at your local Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) county office. Personnel from your local GFC office can make a positive identification on reported cogongrass finds. The "Cogongrass in Georgia" video showing the key identification features can be viewed at:

Contact your local GFC County Office or Regional Forest Health Specialist to obtain copies of these two publications.

Besides flowering, what are key identification features?
Dense mat, sharp pointed,
covered in flaky scales,
bright white under scales, strongly segmented.

2-5’ long blades, ½-1 inch wide, off-centered white mid-rib, margins finely serrated, green yellowish-green in color in summer with a tan color in winter.

Circular growth pattern:
Grass patch will normally grow in a circular pattern. - 1-800-GA-TREES

Forest Health Specialists:

North Region: Lynne Womack 
3086 Martha Berry Hwy,
Rome, GA 30165
(o) 706-295-6021 
Cell 912-515-5180
Southwest Region: Mark McClure
NE 2910 Newton Rd.
Albany, GA 31701
(o) 229-430-5122
cell 229-869-8592  
Southeast Region: Chris Barnes 
119 Hwy. 49
Milledgeville, GA 31061
(o) 478-445-5440
cell 912-601-7093 
Program Coordinator: Chip Bates
18899 US Hwy. 301 N.
Statesboro, GA 30461
cell 912-536-7544