Seminole Crop E News

Agricultural News for Farmers and Agribusiness in SW Georgia

Timing Critical to Controlling Thistle and Dogfennel

Posted by romeethredge on February 17, 2015

Brock Ward, Miller County Extension Coordinator, wrote this about pasture weed control. To view the full article click on the Spring Creek Extension News Blog.

When it comes to pasture and hayfield management, weeds are pests year round.  With the broad spectrum of weeds here in the Southeast and the climate to sustain them, it is a struggle staying ahead of them.  Over the last few years, I have gotten calls in the spring through early summer about controlling weeds in pastures and more often than not, those weeds include dogfennel and thistles.  These are two of the most common weed problems for producers in Georgia.20150212_083143_resized

Photo by Brock Ward

First we will start with the thistle complex as it is often overlooked during the best time for control.  Starting in mid-January through mid-March, producers should scout for the presence of thistles in the rosette stage of growth.  This is the stage of growth where the plant is low to the ground and grows outward from its taproot as a mass of leaves just above the soil surface.  It is easy to drive by a hayfield or pasture and not even suspect the presence of thistles.  The thistle complex consists of several different species but they are all treated as one complex.

Timing is the most critical element in the management of several of our weeds and thistle is no exception.  When in the rosette stage, chemical control of thistle is much better than if the plants are bolting, or growing taller from the center.  Also it is even harder to kill a thistle once it has begun to flower.  It benefits the producer to attack thistles during the rosette stage as it is susceptible to a broader range of cost effective herbicides.

Click through to Spring creek blog  above for more info.

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