JACKSON — South Mississippi is under attack from one of the top 10 most invasive weeds in the world. It can be spread vegetatively or by the wind. It is not suitable as forage for livestock or for erosion control.
Imperata cylindrica, more commonly known as cogongrass or Japanese blood grass, chokes out native species for control of soil nutrients. Its roots excrete chemicals that deter growth of competing vegetation.
“Cogongrass negatively affects pine productivity and survival, wildlife habitat, recreation, native plants, fire behavior and site management costs,” said Russell Bozeman, Mississippi Forestry Commission, state forester. “Its ability to rapidly spread and displace desirable vegetation makes it particularly dangerous to native ecosystems.”
The Forestry Commission uses herbicides, imazapyr and glyphosate, to help control the spread of cogongrass. The MFC offers assistance to landowners to help offset some of the application costs.