Pasture weed control | Living the Country Life

Pasture weed control

Learn how to get rid of pesky weeds

Radio interview source: Ellen Phillips, crop systems educator, University of Illinois Extension













Listen to the radio story here

Keep an eye out for weeds

If your pasture has weeds, it usually means a couple of things. One, you're probably overgrazing. If the soil gets sunlight, the weed seeds do, too, and they'll germinate. The other common cause is improper fertilization. If the grass isn't healthy and growing, then the weeds have an easy in-road. Our nemesis is Canada thistle. We fill a backpack sprayer with an herbicide and walk around the pasture to hand spray the bigger ones. My husband, Bob, hires the co-op to broadcast spray the smaller thistle varieties.

Getting up close and personal with the riff-raff is the foundation of a sound weed management program. This involves routinely walking or driving through pastures and identifying weeds, the number and species present, and their locations. This is important to know because not all weeds respond to the same treatment.

University of Illinois Extension Crop Systems Educator Ellen Phillips says if you know what weed you're dealing with, it's easier to plan your defense strategy.

"Not all weeds germinate at the same time or grow in the same way, Phillips says. "So we have summer annuals like crabgrass and velvetleaf that germinate in the spring, and we have things like shepherd's purse that germinate in the fall. And if we're going to try and control those, the best time to control them is when they're at the seedling stage, like two or three leaves."


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