Johnson Grass

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Anonymous

Welcome to the Soghrum species! Having grown up on a farm/ranch operation in Denton County, TX., we had black/brown soil that was hog heaven for johnsongrass. Johnsongrass is a rhizomous grass, like bermuda, and otehrs. If you disk it, it merely cuts up the segmented rhizomes and re-plants it. The best way we found to get rid of it (over several years) was: Use a glyphosphate (e.g., "Round-up") herbicide at or before the boot stage (under about 12" hi) and when it dries thoroughly in about 7-10 days, plough it under. Then, when it sprouts again (from missed runners and segments) spray again. Next is to NOT graze livestock on it and then move them to another pasture--the seeds are viable in the manure. Unless the rhyzome of the grass is completely dried out and dead, it can re-sprout. Also make sure any hay brought in does not have johnsongrass in it. Johnsongrass can also be propagated via seeds. Hope this helps.
 
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Anonymous

> Welcome to the Soghrum species!
> Having grown up on a farm/ranch
> operation in Denton County, TX.,
> we had black/brown soil that was
> hog heaven for johnsongrass.
> Johnsongrass is a rhizomous grass,
> like bermuda, and otehrs. If you
> disk it, it merely cuts up the
> segmented rhizomes and re-plants
> it. The best way we found to get
> rid of it (over several years)
> was: Use a glyphosphate (e.g.,
> "Round-up") herbicide at
> or before the boot stage (under
> about 12" hi) and when it
> dries thoroughly in about 7-10
> days, plough it under. Then, when
> it sprouts again (from missed
> runners and segments) spray again.
> Next is to NOT graze livestock on
> it and then move them to another
> pasture--the seeds are viable in
> the manure. Unless the rhyzome of
> the grass is completely dried out
> and dead, it can re-sprout. Also
> make sure any hay brought in does
> not have johnsongrass in it.
> Johnsongrass can also be
> propagated via seeds. Hope this
> helps.

My crop man and chemical reps tell me the best time to spray roundup on johnson grass is in the fall before our first frost. The plant is sending nutrients to the roots to help over winter. This helps the chemical do a better job of killing the plant. We have never done this however, just too busy that time of year.
 
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Anonymous

> My crop man and chemical reps tell
> me the best time to spray roundup
> on johnson grass is in the fall
> before our first frost. The plant
> is sending nutrients to the roots
> to help over winter. This helps
> the chemical do a better job of
> killing the plant. We have never
> done this however, just too busy
> that time of year.

Thanks, that was about what I thought. I'm from East Texas also, a little farther east, but it looks like a long term problem here in the sandier soil also.
 
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Anonymous

Many herbicides such as Roundup will kill Johnson grass but also your surrounding "good" grasses as well. Talk to your county agent about something to use to more specifically target Johnson grass or perhaps spot spray (depending on the severity of your infestation). You could also consider talking with cotton farmers in your area (assuming there are some)to find out what they use to kill Johnson grass grwoing in their stands of cotton without harming their cotton plants.

Another solution is to intensively graze out the Johnson grass, except in situations when nitrate or prussic acid poisoning is a concern. Unlike bermuda, bahia, etc. Johnson grass cannot tolerate constant grazing and can pretty much be killed out in about a year if you just let the cattle get after it. I unintentionally killed out a pretty good stand by letting the cattle just eat it (I think they preferred it to bermuda and bahia).

I know that many others will disagree vehemently with this notion, but Johnson grass can be "managed" as a perennial for rotational grazing and/or hay production. In my view, and experience, Johnson grass makes for a very cheap alternative to planting haygrazer, sudan or similar grasses every year and can have a place in a cattle operation when properly managed.
 
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Anonymous

I live in S.E. Kansas and find your comments about Johnson grass interesting. It is a prohibited weed here but I think it could have a place in grazing programs. I currently cell graze an orchard grass, clover, alfalfa, crab grass pasture. It has a fair number of johnson grass clumps in it. Due to my rotation, it never heads, it spreads by rizome only, is the first thing they eat, is the most drought tolerent, and seems to be the most productive plant in the pasture. It appears to be low in nitrogen requirement. Why isn't it used more in pasture programs in Texas and Oklahoma?



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Anonymous

around here they say it can't stand constant or heavy grazing...

gene

> I live in S.E. Kansas and find
> your comments about Johnson grass
> interesting. It is a prohibited
> weed here but I think it could
> have a place in grazing programs.
> I currently cell graze an orchard
> grass, clover, alfalfa, crab grass
> pasture. It has a fair number of
> johnson grass clumps in it. Due to
> my rotation, it never heads, it
> spreads by rizome only, is the
> first thing they eat, is the most
> drought tolerent, and seems to be
> the most productive plant in the
> pasture. It appears to be low in
> nitrogen requirement. Why isn't it
> used more in pasture programs in
> Texas and Oklahoma?



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Anonymous

I would guess a lot of the prejudice against Johnson grass (in E&C Texas ranch country anyway) is a holdover from the days when there was more farming alongside running cattle. We all know how it will ruin a crop. Of course, it’s still hated by farmers. But for strictly grazing purposes, it doesn’t hurt anything and cows like it good enough. It does, like any other “weed” indicate a poor stand of improved pasture. Over time as your good grass gets stronger it will choke out Johnson grass – if you don’t overgraze. If you overgraze it will hurt your stand of good grass worse than it will hurt the Johnson grass and other undesirables, and the Johnson etc. will therefore dominate.

If you’re determined to get rid of it quick, wait for it to get tall enough so you can use a wick applicator. Then Round Up will work fine. Just make sure it’s set high enough that you’re only treating the Johnson grass and not and not the desirable grasses.

Fertilizing and resisting the temptation to over graze are the best long term solutions.

Keep in mind that there is a possibility of prussic acid poisoning with Johnson grass. The biggest riskiest times are after a period of fast growth and especially after the first killing frost.

Craig-TX
 

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