One of the signs that spring has arrived is when yellow buttercups begin to appear in overgrazed pastures. While many farmers may choose to skip fertilizing pasture this year, one cannot afford to let weeds such as buttercup go uncontrolled.
Most buttercup plants emerge from seed during the fall or late winter months. Therefore, pasture management practices that improve and promote growth of desirable plants during these months are the best methods to help compete against the emergence and growth of this plant. Whereas, livestock overgrazing fields during the fall and winter months is one of the main factors that contribute to buttercup problems. You can mow fields or clip plants close to the ground in the early spring before buttercup plants can produce flowers and that may help reduce the amount of new seed produced, but mowing alone will not totally eliminate seed production.
For chemical control, herbicides registered for use on grass pastures that contain 2,4-D will effectively control buttercup. Depending on other weeds present products that contain dicamba and 2,4-D (eg. Weedmaster), aminopyralid (eg. Grazon Next), triclopyr (eg. PastureGard, Crossbow) or metsulfuron (eg. Cimarron) can also be used. However, legumes such as clovers interseeded with grass pastures can be severely injured or killed by these herbicide products.
For optimum results, apply an herbicide in the early spring before flowers are observed, when buttercup plants are still small and actively growing. For best herbicide activity, wait until daytime air temperatures are greater than 50 degrees for two to three consecutive days. Consult the herbicide label for further information on grazing restrictions, precautions or other possible limitations.
For fields heavily infested with buttercup, you may need a variety of control tactics. Apply an herbicide to help reduce the population of buttercup plants in the spring, plus use good pasture management techniques throughout the year to help improve and thicken the stand of desirable forages.
Adair County Cattlemen’s Association Meeting
The Adair County Cattlemen’s Association will hold their next meeting on Monday, March 28, at 6 p.m. at the Adair County Cooperative Extension Service. A sponsored meal and a program on animal health will be presented. All cattle farmers are invited to attend. Please help us plan for the meal by calling the Adair County Cooperative Extension Service at (270) 384-2317 to make your meal reservation.
The Adair County Junior Cattlemen’s Association will also meet on the same night. Adair County Extension FCS Agent, Dylan Gentry, will teach junior members how to make beef jerky.
For more information on the Adair County Cattlemen’s Association, contact the Adair County Cooperative Extension Service at 409 Fairground Street in Columbia.
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