Use Shredding, Grazing to Manage Pasture Weed Flushes

Use Shredding, Grazing to Manage Pasture Weed Flushes August 17, 2018

Extra rain this summer has made many pastures greener than in a long time, but unfortunately, some of that green is likely to be weeds like ragweed, ironweed, broom snakeweed, and horseweed.  They are especially a problem in pasture areas with relatively thin grass stands.

Spraying weeds now does little good.  Many weeds are too large to kill so herbicides might only reduce some seed production and may make pastures a bit more attractive.  Shredding might actually work better to reduce weed seeds if it’s not already too late.

Two other approaches are better for long-term weed control.  First, rotationally graze with much higher stock density.  With many animals on a smaller area to graze, animals will graze some of the weeds they normally might avoid.  They may trample other weeds.  If you also leave quite a bit of residue behind when you move animals to the next small area, it will improve the health, vigor, and density of your grass.  Healthy, competitive grass stands are essential to reduce weed populations economically over the long term.

Second, target herbicide applications for when they will do the most good.  October and early to mid-June usually are the two most effective times to control most perennial weeds and many annuals, especially with herbicides like Grazon, Forefront, Curtail, Milestone, 2,4-D, and Banvel.  Good grazing, along with weed control, will thicken your grass stands so herbicides won’t be needed as often in the future.