Tips for controlling weeds

By Todd Vineyard | Published Wednesday, May 2, 2018

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Weeds cost Texas ranchers millions of dollars in lost production each year by robbing desirable forages of moisture and nutrients.

This is the time of year we usually apply herbicides to our summer pastures for broadleaf weed control and a few troublesome grasses. With the ongoing drought, it is even more important to utilize all the moisture we have recently received towards forage production.

Weather forecasters predict drought to return, magnifying the importance of producing maximum forage with the limited rainfall we receive.

This spring’s cooler temperatures have slowed the germination of some weeds. Also, herbicide applications have slowed down because of the increased high winds. It has kept custom applicators behind, but it’s not too late to apply herbicides and still achieve good control.

The costs for herbicide and application range from $10 to $25 per acre.

Research has shown every one pound of weeds killed can produce up to four pounds of forage. Used in combination, herbicide and fertilizer can significantly increase grass production. 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 several herbicides 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 cost $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 is used for grassbur control. It is recommended as a post emerge application at about one ounce 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 calm day.

Watch for information on a Forage Field Day we will sponsor sometime at the end of this month or in early June. We look forward to seeing you at the field day and sharing results.

Todd Vineyard is a Wise County Extension agent.

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