The Pasture Improvement Calendar

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White, black, brown cows grazing in pasture

Get tips for managing weeds and brush throughout the year.  

Whether you’re facing summer sun or winter snow, there’s always an active to-do list on the ranch — especially when it comes to pasture management. But breaking down your to-dos by season can not only help make that list less intimidating but also help give your weed and brush control program the best chance of success.

Winter

When winter hits, it may be easy to kick up your feet and think about all the things you didn’t manage to cross off your to-do list before the first frost. But there are plenty of winter-friendly management decisions to be made and actions to take during this time of year.

  • You can start by sitting in front of the fire and evaluating your previous grazing season. From there, you can begin to plan adjustments to your grazing programs and pasture needs for the upcoming season.
  • Take a look at your equipment. Clean your nozzles, make sure pumps are in working order, check hoses for cracks or leaks and calibrate to ensure proper application.
  • A nice day in January sure beats spraying brush in the heat of summer. You can use dormant-season individual plant treatments like low-volume basal bark and basal cut-stump treatments to help stop encroaching brush before spring, as long as snow or standing water doesn’t prevent proper application.
  • In mesquite regions, visit LandVisor.com and request a consultation for LandVisor® Advanced Brush Management, allowing time to evaluate data for your ranch and plan your herbicide treatment.
  • Work with your retailer or custom applicator to plan early spring applications, including control of winter annuals and biennial thistles.

Spring

Everything — including weeds — is starting to grow after lying dormant for a few months. That makes spring a crucial time to remain vigilant.

  • You aren’t the only one eager for spring turnout. After a winter in pens and barns, your herd is ready go back to pasture. But delaying turnout as long as possible can give stressed pastures more time to recover.
  • Begin monitoring pastures early — even before they start to green up. This allows you to catch and address any potential problems while they’re still small.
  • Watch for early emerging annual weeds and biennial thistles. If you catch any, treat early to allow grasses more time and space to grow, which will help suppress any additional weeds.
  • Use a herbicide with residual control, such as DuraCor® or GrazonPD3 herbicide, to control any new weed flushes that pop up well into the grazing season.
  • Don’t forget to feed your pastures. UltiGraz℠ Pasture Weed & Feed lets you fertilize and control weeds in a single pass, saving you time and money.
  • Lastly, monitor winter hay-feeding sites for new weeds that might have arrived with purchased hay.

Summer

Early summer opens the window for treating many perennial weeds, including Canada thistle, tall ironweed and western ragweed. Those undesirable weeds can leave your grass susceptible to weed pressure and leave your herd hungry.

  • Later-season weeds like ironweed and cocklebur can rapidly reach enormous heights, easily choking out grasses and becoming undesirable weeds in pastures. Be vigilant against these and other damaging weeds.
  • Don’t forget to keep an eye out on the ground for shorter weeds like leafy spurge, which may also start popping up. The weed reaches its true flower growth stage in mid- to late June, but all isn’t lost if it starts to flower. GrazonPD3 herbicide provides the best leafy spurge control available and is effective on most other noxious and invasive weeds.
  • While you’re treating broadleaf weeds, resist the temptation to treat brush and other woody plants too early. Take time to ensure undesirable brush and wood plants are fully leafed out and actively growing, which usually doesn’t start before mid- to late June.
  • For renovation-type brush control programs, work with your aerial applicator to inventory species and develop a prescription tank mix that could include a foundational product such as Remedy®, Remedy® Ultra, DuraCor® or PastureGard® HL herbicides.

Fall

The leaves are changing, and the temperature is dropping — fall is here. The season of recovery is the perfect time to take steps to help your grasses recover from spring and summer and prepare for winter.

  • Fall moisture will germinate new weed seedlings. Most are easier to control at this stage, which makes herbicide applications especially effective during this season.
  • Perennial weeds are also more vulnerable to fall applications. As the weeds prepare to overwinter, they intake winter food reserves — and your herbicide application.
  • Brush control also becomes more pleasant this time of year because of the cooler temperatures and more comfortable weather conditions.
  • Dormant-season individual plant treatments, such as low-volume basal and basal cut-stump, can help improve pastures during the off-season.
  • Don’t forget to feed your pastures. Cool-season grasses benefit from fall fertilizer applications. UltiGraz℠ Pasture Weed & Feed lets you fertilize and control weeds in a single pass, saving you time and money.

Our Range & Pasture Specialists help deliver local, customized solutions across the country. For help with a seasonal plan to optimize your grazing land, talk with your Corteva Agriscience Range & Pasture Specialist. To find yours, visit Corteva.us/pastures/findmyspecialist.

GrazonPD3™ and Tordon® 22K are Restricted Use Pesticides. Under normal field conditions, DuraCor® is nonvolatile. DuraCor has no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with DuraCor and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. DuraCor and Sendero® are not registered for sale or use in all states. GrazonPD3 is not for sale, distribution or use in Nassau and Suffolk Counties in New York State. UltiGrazSM with fertilizer is available for use with specific herbicides in the states of AL, AR, CO, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, KS, KY, LA, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NE, NV, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, WV and WY. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Consult the label for full details. State restrictions on the sale and use of Remedy® apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.

 

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