Weed Control in Bermudagrass Pasture

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Weed Control in Bermudagrass Pastures

            Weeds compete with grass for available nutrients and shade out emerging grass. Many weeds are not consumed by livestock due to toxicity and low palatability. Now through June, is an excellent time to apply herbicide to control problem weeds, as plants are more susceptible to herbicide when they are young and actively growing. For optimum control, identify the weeds present and choose an herbicide that is appropriate for your situation. When choosing and herbicide be cognizant of haying and grazing restrictions after application. Be considerate of neighboring crops, as most pasture herbicides are detrimental to tobacco and cotton. Apply herbicides on days when the wind speed is less than 10 miles an hour to reduce spray drift. Most herbicides need to be applied with a non-ionic surfactant to increase coverage and encourage plant uptake. Depending on the herbicides mode of action, observation of effect could be from a few hours to more than a week.

 2,4-D applied at 1 to 2 quarts per acre with a surfactant will control most of the common pasture weeds. The addition of 1 pint per acre of dicamba will increase control of difficult to control plants such as dog fennel and horsenettle as well as some woody species. Livestock should not graze sprayed pastures for 7 days after application and hay should not be cut until 30 days post application.

 Cimarron Plus applied at a quarter ounce per acre gives great control of broadleaf weeds with no haying or grazing restrictions. Increasing the rate to one half ounce per acre provides control of pensacola bahiagrass and many woody species. It should be noted that Cimarron Plus will damage fescue stands and kill clover.

 GrazonNext HL at  1 to 2 pints per acre gives season long control of all common broadleaf weeds. This herbicide contains aminopyralid, a compound that binds to organic material in soil including weed seeds providing residual control. This chemical has a 7 day haying restriction but no grazing restriction. Applicators should read all precautions on residue management with this product.

 Pastora Herbicide is the best option for controlling invasive grasses at 1 to 1.5 ounces per acre in bermudagrass. This product offers post emergence control of crabgrass, foxtail, johnsongrass and sandbur plus many other grasses and broadleaf weeds. Pastora should be applied when bermuda growth is less than 2 inches in height either at greenup or after cutting. Application can cause temporary stunting to taller bermudagrass. There are no grazing or haying restrictions with this product.

 Disclaimer: The use of brand names in this publication does not imply endorsement by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service of the products or services named nor discrimination against similar products or services not mentioned.