The Latest

Events

  1. Oklahoma: Canola Schools – August 2 and 4

    July 20 @ 5:00 am - August 5 @ 1:00 am
  2. InfoAg Conference, St. Louis, Aug. 2-4

    August 2 @ 8:00 am - August 4 @ 5:00 pm
  3. Tennessee: Mid-South Ag Finance Conference, Martin, Aug. 3

    August 3 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  4. Arkansas: RiceTec Field Day, Harrisburg, Aug. 3

    August 3 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  5. New Mexico: Ag Science Center Field Day, Clovis, Aug. 3

    August 3 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  6. Texas: Cotton Fiber Quality Conference, Lubbock, Aug. 4

    August 4 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  7. Arkansas Rice Expo, Stuttgart, Aug. 10

    August 10 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  8. North Mississippi Row Crops Field Day, Verona, Aug. 11

    August 11 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  9. Texas: Small Grain Workshop, Brownwood, Aug. 11

    August 11 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  10. Texas: Pre-Plant Wheat Meeting, Amarillo, Aug. 12

    August 12 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  11. Kansas: Farm Succession Planning Seminar, Jewell, Aug. 16

    August 16 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  12. Illinois: Agronomy Day, Savoy, August 18

    August 18 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  13. Kansas: Farm Risk and Profit Conference, Manhattan, Aug. 18-19

    August 18 @ 8:00 am - August 19 @ 5:00 pm
  14. Kansas: Water Management Field Day, Colby, Aug. 23

    August 23 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  15. Georgia: Pest Manager Training Workshop, Savannah, Aug. 26

    August 26 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  16. Louisiana: Sweet Potato Field Day, Chase, Aug. 31

    August 31 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  17. Georgia Peanut Tour, Tifton, Sept. 13-15

    September 13 @ 8:00 am - September 15 @ 5:00 pm
  18. California Almond Conference, Sacramento, Dec. 6-8

    December 6 @ 8:00 am - December 8 @ 5:00 pm

Arkansas Livestock: Control Weeds Now for Better Pastures This Summer

Ernst Undesser
By Carol Sanders, University of Arkansas March 7, 2014

Arkansas Livestock: Control Weeds Now for Better Pastures This Summer

With no green showing in the pasture, few livestock producers are thinking about weed control, but now is the ideal time to control troublesome pasture weeds, says Dr. David Fernandez, Cooperative Extension Program livestock specialist at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

Not only are some weeds toxic to cattle, but also weeds adversely affect livestock operations in many ways. Weeds compete with desirable pasture grasses and legumes for nutrients. Some are unpalatable; livestock will not eat them so less feed is available in the pasture, says Dr. Fernandez. Some weeds cause injuries or pain if they have thorns.

“Weed control can be an effective way to increase production by improving forage availability,” says Dr. Fernandez. Mowing, grazing, improving soil fertility and herbicide spraying are some of the ways to control weeds. Mowing should be done in the boot stage before flowers emerge. Weeds can flower and set seed very quickly. Once the seeds develop, mowing just spreads them further into pastures.

 

Some weeds are both palatable and nutritious early in the growth, and livestock will readily graze them. To control weeds by grazing, subdivide weedy pastures, and place a high concentration of animals on one paddock, advises Dr. Fernandez. The animals will eat or trample the weeds. The grass can recover once the animals are moved to the next paddock. Grazing should not be used to control weeds toxic to livestock, warns Dr. Fernandez.

Weeds can outcompete more desirable species under conditions of low fertility. Most of Arkansas’s better pasture grasses and legumes do poorly in acidic soils. Phosphate and potash levels in Arkansas soils tend to be lower than optimum for many forages. Adding lime to control soil pH and fertilizing according to soil test results can give grasses and legumes a chance to outcompete the weeds after an initial round of another control method.

Some common weeds in Arkansas respond well to late winter/early spring herbicide treatment including buttercup, the first weed to emerge, wild garlic or wild onion and thistles. Spraying now for buttercup will prevent pastures from turning yellow with buttercup flowers this spring. Thistles are best treated in the rosette stage before he flower stalk begins to grow.

Two common, toxic Arkansas weeds, bitter sneezeweed and woolly croton, are best treated in May and June, says Dr. Fernandez. Extension publication MP 44 Recommended Chemicals for Weed and Brush Control contains herbicide recommendations for pasture weeds, and your county Extension agent can help you choose which herbicide is most appropriate for the weeds on your farm.

Ernst Undesser
By Carol Sanders, University of Arkansas March 7, 2014