Late summer pasture weeds |

Late summer pasture weeds

Late summer always seems to be a time when weeds can become quite noticeable in pastures, especially if you are in an area that received significant August rain. Stick around to learn to deal with this problem.

Perennial weeds like western ragweed, ironweed, verbena and annual weeds like horseweed, sunflowers, and buffalo bur can be plentiful in some pastures. They are especially a problem in areas in pastures that have relatively thin grass stands or in areas where animals congregate.

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 areas that have an abundance of weeds 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, focus on the grazing management of your pastures. This includes using the proper stocking rate and developing a good rotational grazing plan. An important objective is to increase 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.

Don’t let weeds take over your pasture, but don’t spend money controlling them needlessly.

–UNL Extension

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