Ranchers, it’s not too late to control weeds

By | Published Thursday, May 6, 2010

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Weeds cost ranchers in Texas millions of dollars in lost production each year because they rob desirable forages of moisture and nutrients. With the heavy winter and spring rains, local ranchers are finding no shortage of weeds in their pasture and hay fields.

The high winds have kept custom applicators behind, but it’s not too late to apply herbicides and still achieve good control.

Costs for herbicide plus application range from $10-$25 per acre depending on the herbicide used and rate. Used in combination, herbicide and fertilizer can more than double grass production. However, herbicide alone increases grass production more than fertilizer alone. If you have fields free from weeds, fertilizer alone is the right choice.

Producers are lucky in that several herbicide choices are out there that do not require a pesticide applicator license for the purchase.

I get questions every year about mowing weeds. According to Texas A&M Trials, mowing costs $10 to $15 per acre, or about the same as herbicide. One difference: Mowing doesn’t improve grass production since it won’t kill the weeds.

Pastora herbicide has been made available this spring for grassbur control. It is recommended as a post-emerge application at about 1 oz. per acre. No license is required.

If you haven’t applied your weed killer yet, contact your custom applicator today to get on their list, or get your sprayer calibrated and ready for the next wind-free day.

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