Over summer a number of weeds such as Californian thistles, docks, hedge mustard, buttercups, willow weed, yellow bristle grass and fleabane ‘to name a few’, can rob farmers of valuable feed. In some severe situations these weeds can not only reduce pasture growth they can out compete pastures. However more commonly, this goes unrecognised as reduced pasture utilisation, as weeds often affect our animal’s ability to eat most of what is offered, which can also lead onto pasture quality issues.
Depending on the type and size of weed(s), we have a range of options available in established pastures over the late spring or summer period. These include Baton 800WSG, Valdo 800WG, Sprinter 700DS or Dockstar (for those with Yellow Bristle Grass) or Conquest if the weeds have really gotten away on you.
At times weeds may have grown too large to control them selectively but if the farmer still wants them controlled Conquest is an excellent option, as it will control a wide range of larger, more established weeds. Be mindful that Conquest will also kill clovers or forage herbs, so assessing this impact as part of your decision process is wise.
It’s important to keep pastoral farmers ‘engine rooms’ (established pastures) as weed free as possible to get your best bang for buck from your home-grown feed, as this can save significant supplementary feed costs, which is pretty important at present.
Richard Bell – Territory Manger for Taranaki & Manawatu
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