Weed Control in Pastures and Hayfields
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Date: June 30, 2020
Agent: Damon Pollard
This is Damon Pollard, Field Crops Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke Center. Today’s topic is Weed Control in Pastures and Hayfields.
Burke County farms are blessed with a typically productive climate, and illustrated by beautiful scenery. However, we must contend with many persistent annual and perennial weeds. Among those most persistent are horse nettles, spiny amaranth or pigweed, and thistles, both Canada and Musk.
Horse nettles are characterized by spines or thorns that make it undesirable to foraging animals, and also by its familiar yellow berries, that harbor its annoying seeds. A single plant can produce up to 5000 seeds. They reproduce from seeds from dry berries, and rhizomes.
Spiny pigweed is a summer annual that is very similar in appearance to other pigweeds, but has spines along the stems. It is primarily a weed of pastures and hayfields, and occurs less in agronomic crops. Control is best achieved when plants are less than 2 inches tall and becomes more difficult to control as plants increase in size.
Canada thistle is a perennial weed that spreads by seeds and rhizomes that grow 2 to 6 ft. deep, and is very persistent in pastures and hayfields. For superior control, herbicide treatments should be applied when plants are in the prebloom stage of growth. Bull and Musk thistles should be treated when they are in the rosette stage of growth.
Consult the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual for herbicide treatment recommendations, and application rates, or come by our office for more information.
This is Damon Pollard, Livestock Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service-Burke Center.