Options For Late Summer Pasture Weeds

Options For Late Summer Pasture Weeds

August 22, 2008

Stimulated by recent summer rains, weeds have exploded in many pastures. Because many pastures only had short grass as competition, these weeds grew almost unchecked. Only pastures or areas in pastures with thick, relatively tall grass stands have few weeds.

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 would actually work better to reduce weed seeds if it's not already too late.

Two other approaches are more important for long-term weed control.

 

  • First, do more rotational grazing next year to improve the health, vigor, and density of your grass. Especially leave more residue when rotating to maintain higher competition. Healthy, competitive grass stands are essential to reduce weed populations economically.

     

  • Second, target herbicide applications for when they will do the most good. Early to mid-June usually is most effective, especially with herbicides like Grazon, Curtail, 2,4-D, and Banvel. Most perennial weeds, and many annuals, are sensitive to chemicals in June. Weed control, along with good grazing, will thicken your grass stands so herbicides won't be needed as often in the future.

     

Don't let weeds take over your pasture, but don't spend money controlling them needlessly. A good, long-term plan will work best.

Bruce Anderson
Extension Forage Specialist