Giant Foxtail Field Facts | Corteva Agriscience™

Field Facts: Giant Foxtail

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This weed may sound cute and cuddly, but it can take a bite out of your customers’ corn yield. Find control solutions now.

Giant foxtail is a summer annual weed commonly found throughout the United States. The name originates from the distinctive seed head that looks like a fox’s tail. The weed has developed herbicide resistance in several states and has been known to reduce corn yield.

  • Common name: Giant foxtail
  • Scientific name: Setaria faberi
  • Leaf shape: Long, thin and ovular with pointed ends
  • Reproduction: Seeds, germination occurs in spring
  • Flowers: Cylindrical seed head with bristles

Fast facts

  • Giant foxtail stems can grow up to 4 feet tall.
  • The leaves can be up to 16 inches long with short hairs on the upper surface.
  • The plant is known for its distinctive, bristled seed head that droops as the plant matures.
  • Giant foxtail grows best in fertile soils with high levels of nitrogen and phosphorus.
  • The weed can survive drought.
  • One plant can produce up to 2,500 seeds; on average, a plant will produce about 900 seeds.
  • Seeds can live dormant in the soil for a few years if left untreated.
  • According to Michigan State University, three giant foxtail plants per foot row can reduce corn yield by up to 14%.
  • lists herbicide-resistant giant foxtail in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
    • The weed has shown resistance to Group 1, 2 and 5 herbicides.

Control tips

  • A program approach to weed control with multiple modes of action can help control giant foxtail in corn and soybeans.
    • Make sure to apply a preemergence herbicide with residual activity, followed by a timely postemergence application.
    • It’s easiest to control the weed before it’s 4 inches tall. So, an earlier postemergence application is better.
  • Crop rotation can help keep giant foxtail populations down.
    • Michigan State University recommends including alfalfa in rotation to combat the weed.

Help customers fight giant foxtail in their fields by finding the right weed control solution at

Corn herbicides:

Soybean herbicides:


™ ® Cinch® ATZ, FulTime® NXT, Keystone® LA NXT and Keystone NXT are Restricted Use Pesticides. Cinch ATZ, Durango® DMA®, Elevore®, Enlite®, EverpreX®, FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Realm® Q, Resicore®, Sonic®, SureStart® II, Surveil® and Trivence® are not registered for sale or use in all states. Keystone NXT is not available for sale, distribution or use in all states. FulTime NXT, Keystone LA NXT, Keystone NXT, Resicore and SureStart II are not available for sale, distribution or use in Nassau and Suffolk counties in the state of New York. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Enlist Duo® and Enlist One® herbicides are not registered for sale or use in all states or counties. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your area. Enlist Duo and Enlist One herbicides are the only 2,4-D products authorized for use with Enlist crops. Consult Enlist herbicide labels for weed species controlled. Always read and follow label directions.