BATON ROUGE — The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry is implementing a new cogongrass treatment program for Livingston, Washington, St. Helena, St. Tammany and Tangipahoa parishes.

Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica) is native to Asia and has spread to every continent but Antarctica. It is regulated as a federal noxious weed. It is included on the latest list of the world’s top 10 worst weeds, amassed by the Global Invasive Species Database, a news release said.

The department and the LSU AgCenter have scheduled landowner meetings to help educate the public about cogongrass. Topics of discussion include why it is a problem, how to identify it, strategies to control it and available assistance in managing cogongrass.

An upcoming meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kentwood Co-op, 74219 La. 1054, Kentwood.

For forest landowners, cogongrass infestations can affect new tree growth and wildlife habitat plants. For cattle and hay farmers, cogongrass provides poor forage.

“Cogongrass can be found just about anywhere in southeast Louisiana, and it is very difficult to get rid of. Our goal is to educate people on how to identify it and control it,” said Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain.

For information on the cogongrass workshops or to register, email Whitney Wallace at wwallace@agcenter.lsu.edu.

The meeting is open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.