Can acetic acid be used to control Nassella spp. - modifications to the 'spray and hay' method

Bram Mason, Brett Lane and Associates, PO Box 592, Carlton North, Victoria 3054, Australia.


A small trial investigated an alternative to registered herbicides for effectiveness of above ground vegetative mortality. An acetic acid surfactant solution gave close to 100 percent mortality of above ground vegetative matter two months after application for both Chilean needle grass and serrated tussock. Soil pH in the upper 5 cm layer returned to background levels within seven days after acetic acid application. This solution was then used in a kangaroo grass establishment trial. Above ground plant mortality was similar to the initial trial, however, establishment of kangaroo grass seedlings was significantly (P <0.01) less in acetic acid treatments compared with standard 'spray and hay' treatments. More rigorous testing is required before this solution could be considered an effective and reliable herbicide.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2005) 20 (3) 82-84.