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It's Time to Spray Pastures and Fence RowsPosted Thursday, April 5, 2012, at 3:27 PM
Spring weed control in pastures is very important to having higher quality forage and hay. Now is the time to use any herbicide containing 2-4D. The cutoff for using these type herbicides is April 14. The ban on using 2-4D containing herbicides is in effect April 15.
A lot of people get confused and think they can spray on the 15th, but that is actually when the ban starts. The main reason to spray now is that the weeds are smaller and easier to kill. Waiting to spray weeds like buttercup in pastures when they are blooming will result in much poorer control.
All spring weeds are easier to kill the smaller they are. This has been an unusual spring and weeds are growing fast. In order to control most easily-controlled pasture weeds, I recommend at least a quart of 2-4D per acre. This will cost from $3.50 to $4 per acre.
For better control of tougher pasture weeds and some small saplings, I would recommend something like Weedmaster or Grazon P+D. These are more expensive and will cost from $7 to $9 per acre at a quart per acre rate. They are better on controlling more difficult weeds like horsenettle, small thorns, etc.
If you have a lot of clover in your pastures, then use the 2-4D and you will get less injury to the clover. The other materials can kill clover. All of these materials need a surfactant or sticker in them to help increase weed control. For Bermuda grass weed control, these products will work as well as the metsulfuron products like Cimmaron or Valuron at a range of .2 of an ounce up to .5 ounce per acre. These products will, however, injure fescue and clover. Also, all of these materials are safe to use in the pasture while animals are grazing, all except for any dairy cattle.
It also is a good time to be putting out fence row sprays. One of my favorite mixtures is a solution of Grazon P+D 2 percent, Remedy 1 percent and Glyphosate (Roundup) 2 percent. The glyphosate can be left out if you do not want to kill grass in the fence row. If you want to see how well this works, I have a demonstration plot located just west of Rector on County Road 406. To find the demonstration, just travel past Rector High School heading west on 406, approximately two and a half miles. The demonstration is located on Kirk Ford's farm in the S curve. There is a sign on the plot.
For summer weeds like wooly croton and bitter sneeze weed, you will need to make a second application of herbicide at the end of May or first of June. The product of choice for our area then would be dicamba products like Banvel at a rate of 1 pint per acre plus a surfactant. If you have any questions on forage weed control feel free to give me a call.
Andy Vangilder is the Univerty of Arkansas Extension Cooperative Services award winning staff chair for Clay County.
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