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New herbicide shows promise at controlling Bermudagrass


Debbie Johnson
University of Missouri Extension
Phone: 573-882-9183

Photo available for this release:


Credit: Public Domain

Description: Bermudagrass

Published: Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013

Story source:

Brad S. Fresenburg, 573-268-2545

Columbia, Mo. – One man’s lawn can be another man’s weed.

Bermuda grass is used for lawns in southern Missouri and is a popular choice for athletic fields. But, it can become an aggressive, hard-to-control weed in your lawn.

“We find it’s quite invasive in cool season lawns,” said Brad Fresenburg, turf specialist for University of Missouri Extension. “Of the warm season grasses, it’s the most aggressive. Under ideal conditions it can spread 6-to-8 feet per year.”

At this year’s University of Missouri Turfgrass & Ornamental Field Day, there was a discussion about  a new product that looks promising for controlling Bermuda grass.

“We’ve got a new one that just came out this year from BASF called Pylex,” Fresenburg said. “It’s a post-emergent broadleaf and grass herbicide. The active ingredient is topramezone.”

Bermuda grass can be a blemish in a cool season tall fescue or Kentucky bluegrass lawn, Fresenburg said. It tends to grow lower to the ground and has more of a yellow/green color. It has runners, or stolons, that spread across the soil surface, and that’s usually the first thing homeowners will notice.

“It can spread from a neighbor, or by seed,” Fresenburg said. “Folks may bring in a load of top soil to fill in different areas in their lawn and sometimes that soil is contaminated with Bermuda grass.”

Up until now, there haven’t been many options for controlling Bermuda grass.

“We’ve had some products in the past that do provide some selective control, but they’ve never been a hundred percent,” Fresenburg said. “There have been trials with various tank mixes, but the most effective combination of control products can run hundreds of dollars per acre, which is really out of line for the average homeowner.”

Pylex can be used on cool season grasses like tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and ryegrass. “For the most part it is safe to use on your lawn. You may, however, notice a slight amount of yellowing from this product,” Fresenburg said.

There’s a need for something that can control this aggressive grass. “How to control Bermuda grass in cool season grasses is one of the most frequent questions I get,” Fresenburg said.

This year’s Turfgrass & Ornamental Field Day was at the MU South Farm Research Center.  South Farm is over a thousand acres devoted to research, education and service to Missouri citizens. For more information, visit their website at