Range and Pasture
When you stop to look at your range and pasture you may find that a lot of the green you are seeing is actually weeds. Weeds pose a number of problems when you are managing a stand of grass. They choke out desirable grasses and use valuable moisture. In addition, weeds steal nutrients from the soil profile which have to be replaced by fertilization.
There are two important things to remember when selecting a herbicide for Range and Pasture use are:
1. Select An Appropriate Herbicide
- determine what type of grass or forage you have
- refer to the label to make sure the product is safe for that grass or forage
- determine your target weed to and see if that product targets it
- always check for grazing restrictions and re-entry time for animals.3
Here are articles to help determine what kind of grass or forage you have:
2. Apply the Herbicide at the Proper Time of Year.
Herbicides typically work best on younger actively growing weeds. So it is important to know the weeds growth habits and reproductive cycle in order to properly time the application. In order to do this you need to determine which type of weed group your target weed belongs in.
- weeds that germinate in the fall
- apply in early spring (March-April) or after they emerge in the fall (October-November)
- examples: buttercup, biennial thistles, and poison hemlock
Warm Season Weeds
- weeds that germinate in the spring
- apply in early summer (May-June) when they start to emerge as seedlings
- examples: common ragweed, spiny amaranth, and cockle bur
- weeds that germinate all year long
- best to apply in the late summer (August- early September)
- late summer applications help facilitate herbicide movement into these weeds root systems
- mid-summer mowing followed by application of regrowth is also recommended.
- examples: curly dock, tall iron weed, and Canada thistle
To help identify what type which type of grass or forage you have, you can refer to these articles.
- Northeast US Forage and Pasture Grasses- Sid Bosworth, UVM Extension
- Southern States Pasture and Forage Grasses-USDA
- Identifying Midwest Pasture and Forage Grasses- UW, Dan Undersander, Michael Casler, Dennis Cosgrove
- Range Grasses of Kansas -Kansas State University
- Great Basin Pasture and Forage Grasses (including portions of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and California ) -Idaho State
- California Pasture and Forage Grasses (Interior Valley, Foothills, and Coastal Zone) -USDA
- Oregon and North West Pasture and Forage Grasses- OSU Extension