Like many noxious weeds on the landscape, Foxtail Barley adds beautiful interest to the prairie.
It grows up fluffy and green, often with a hint of purple showing in its stem.
But, as with many things, their beauty is deceiving. Foxtail barley makes areas of land unsuitable for grazing or wildlife inhabitation. The beards, which carry the seed, stick to animal fur or feathers. The seeds spread easily. Sheep's wool that is infested with Foxtail barley loses value. It can cause sores in animal's nose and mouth. Grazing animals avoid eating it.
Hay that is cut containing Foxtail barley should not be fed to livestock. As hay, the beards cannot be avoided.
And so we clip Foxtail barley wherever we can in GriggsDakota.