Restoring pasture

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herofan

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I have a few areas of pasture that have gotten a little out of hand with iron weeds, sericia, and a few other weeds. What would be the best steps to returning the pasture to a more grassy area?

I know a lot of people say they never mow their pastures because they let the cows mow it and they see no sense in mowing down cattle feed. I'm sure, however, that those fields are mostly grass anyway.

Will mowing two or three times a year reduce weeds? I read an article that said one should mow in late May or early June and then again in about a month. The article claimed it would drastically cut down on iron weeds.

I'm not considering frequent mowing for the rest of my life, but if frequent mowing works, I thought I could do that a year or two and then spot spray.

Does that sound like a decent plan, or is there a better way? Oh, and I'm not concerned about fuel costs of mowing. If it works, I'll do it. I just don't want to burn fuel if it doesn't work or ouf there's a more efficient way to get rid of weeds.
 

cowgirl8

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Mowing, or known here as shredding, is done this time every year on grazing pastures. This year is the worst ever because it may need to be done twice. If we didn't mow, we'd get weeds out of control... Best time to mow is before the weed in question puts out seeds..
We had a few fields that needed fertilizer, but with the prices of chemical fertilizer we went with the chicken litter out of the egg factory.
Let me tell ya, you could grow grass on a bowling ball with that stuff. Luckily we got rain this year, typically when we go to the expense we get no rain. But the pastures we did put it on are growing like crazy. One field we baled twice and since I've had a herd of 50 cows with calves and 3 bulls on this tiny pasture for over 2 weeks... Its almost solid grass and next year will be almost weedless because of being baled twice. We also put it on a hillside pasture that struggled to grow anything other than poor joe. Grass loves the stuff...
 

shaz

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herofan":11nlcqo6 said:
I have a few areas of pasture that have gotten a little out of hand with iron weeds, sericia, and a few other weeds. What would be the best steps to returning the pasture to a more grassy area?

I know a lot of people say they never mow their pastures because they let the cows mow it and they see no sense in mowing down cattle feed. I'm sure, however, that those fields are mostly grass anyway.

Will mowing two or three times a year reduce weeds? I read an article that said one should mow in late May or early June and then again in about a month. The article claimed it would drastically cut down on iron weeds.

I'm not considering frequent mowing for the rest of my life, but if frequent mowing works, I thought I could do that a year or two and then spot spray.

Does that sound like a decent plan, or is there a better way? Oh, and I'm not concerned about fuel costs of mowing. If it works, I'll do it. I just don't want to burn fuel if it doesn't work or ouf there's a more efficient way to get rid of weeds.

Looks like 2-4-D ester next April is all you really need. I wouldn't mow 3 times a year even in this weather.
 

Banjo

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I wonder if there are any studies done that show the nutrient content of weeds? I would say each weed species probably has its own unique nutrient profile that would vary from plant to plant. Shredding all that down periodically would have to help the soil profile. I don't worry too much about weeds....i.e. ragweed, chicory, mostly growing now...as long as there is lots of grass to go with it. I think it adds a lot of organic matter to the soil. Clipping it keeps it in check.
But if your in a continuous grazing system where grass is kept short then your gonna have weeds abundant.
 

kenny thomas

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Banjo":1j28b410 said:
I wonder if there are any studies done that show the nutrient content of weeds? I would say each weed species probably has its own unique nutrient profile that would vary from plant to plant. Shredding all that down periodically would have to help the soil profile. I don't worry too much about weeds....i.e. ragweed, chicory, mostly growing now...as long as there is lots of grass to go with it. I think it adds a lot of organic matter to the soil. Clipping it keeps it in check.
But if your in a continuous grazing system where grass is kept short then your gonna have weeds abundant.
Some weeds have nutrition but the amount of production is not there.
 

Dave

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What method will work best would depend on the characteristics of the weed you want to get rid of. Mowing will be more effective on annual weeds than on perennial weeds if you cut them before they go to seed.
 

Caustic Burno

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shaz":28lc82nh said:
herofan":28lc82nh said:
I have a few areas of pasture that have gotten a little out of hand with iron weeds, sericia, and a few other weeds. What would be the best steps to returning the pasture to a more grassy area?

I know a lot of people say they never mow their pastures because they let the cows mow it and they see no sense in mowing down cattle feed. I'm sure, however, that those fields are mostly grass anyway.

Will mowing two or three times a year reduce weeds? I read an article that said one should mow in late May or early June and then again in about a month. The article claimed it would drastically cut down on iron weeds.

I'm not considering frequent mowing for the rest of my life, but if frequent mowing works, I thought I could do that a year or two and then spot spray.

Does that sound like a decent plan, or is there a better way? Oh, and I'm not concerned about fuel costs of mowing. If it works, I'll do it. I just don't want to burn fuel if it doesn't work or ouf there's a more efficient way to get rid of weeds.

Looks like 2-4-D ester next April is all you really need. I wouldn't mow 3 times a year even in this weather.

Need that thumbs up button.
 

BFE

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Caustic Burno":sl36j0w3 said:
shaz":sl36j0w3 said:
herofan":sl36j0w3 said:
I have a few areas of pasture that have gotten a little out of hand with iron weeds, sericia, and a few other weeds. What would be the best steps to returning the pasture to a more grassy area?

I know a lot of people say they never mow their pastures because they let the cows mow it and they see no sense in mowing down cattle feed. I'm sure, however, that those fields are mostly grass anyway.

Will mowing two or three times a year reduce weeds? I read an article that said one should mow in late May or early June and then again in about a month. The article claimed it would drastically cut down on iron weeds.

I'm not considering frequent mowing for the rest of my life, but if frequent mowing works, I thought I could do that a year or two and then spot spray.

Does that sound like a decent plan, or is there a better way? Oh, and I'm not concerned about fuel costs of mowing. If it works, I'll do it. I just don't want to burn fuel if it doesn't work or ouf there's a more efficient way to get rid of weeds.

Looks like 2-4-D ester next April is all you really need. I wouldn't mow 3 times a year even in this weather.

Need that thumbs up button.
This or Crossbow, in my experience it's a little stronger on the ironweed. If you're not already, I would rotate your cattle out from October to mid April, let the fescue recover for a little while, the two together will do wonders. Also fertilize, if not already.
 

True Grit Farms

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Dave":1s8xj67d said:
What method will work best would depend on the characteristics of the weed you want to get rid of. Mowing will be more effective on annual weeds than on perennial weeds if you cut them before they go to seed.

Mowing weeds before the weed seeds is the only way to make a difference. The more you mow the more grass you'll have. I mow my pastures 2-3 times a year because I have a lot of summer clover, and Florida pusley planted for the deer, 2-4-D will wipe out all your good legumes.
 

M.Magis

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I use a combination of feeding in specific areas to improve soil, mowing, and spraying. It takes all three for me to make a big improvement.
 

slick4591

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I'm not having much luck mowing myself out of weeds. It just seems like they grow back and start heading out closer to the ground. I've been putting it off but it looks like I'm going to have to spray a couple or so times starting in the spring.
 

dun

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TennesseeTuxedo":1dwc8pvu said:
I think it takes a three pronged approach, fertilizer & other soil treatment, spraying weeds, and mowing to improve pastures.
BINGO
 

Bigfoot

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No doubt a three pronged approach would be best. I believe you'd see a drastic difference from just spraying. It's a game changer on our type soils, and climate. It's also probably your cheapest approach. Get the weeds down, and the grass will fill in. Mowing weed ain't going to do much to it. These guys south of us, are in a whole different ball game. We've got warm season weeds, growing in a cool season grass. Weeds have the advantage. Spray 2 years in a row, with a quality broad leaf killer, and you'll see a difference. Don't worry about the clover. Number one, it'll come back. I have plenty. Number two, our little old white clover ain't doing much. On the feed side, or the making nitrogen side.
 

GAonmymind

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One side of the pasture with Grazon Next and one side without. It is the same fence in the background of both pics. Note it killed the horse nettles, pigweed, poke weed, fennel. The black stuff on the fence is the knee high microstegium. One more shot in April for buttercups.
 

kenny thomas

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GAonmymind":2sv9lc1o said:




One side of the pasture with Grazon Next and one side without. It is the same fence in the background of both pics. Note it killed the horse nettles, pigweed, poke weed, fennel. The black stuff on the fence is the knee high microstegium. One more shot in April for buttercups.
Look at earlier for the buttercup. As soon as the weather warms enough to spray. The buttercup will already be up and really easy to kill.
 

BFE

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Bigfoot":36wd2p7o said:
No doubt a three pronged approach would be best. I believe you'd see a drastic difference from just spraying. It's a game changer on our type soils, and climate. It's also probably your cheapest approach. Get the weeds down, and the grass will fill in. Mowing weed ain't going to do much to it. These guys south of us, are in a whole different ball game. We've got warm season weeds, growing in a cool season grass. Weeds have the advantage. Spray 2 years in a row, with a quality broad leaf killer, and you'll see a difference. Don't worry about the clover. Number one, it'll come back. I have plenty. Number two, our little old white clover ain't doing much. On the feed side, or the making nitrogen side.
+1. I've seen pasture that had weed patches 30-40 ft around that were back to grass in a couple of years with an annual spray application. Mowing was needed to get rid of the patches (mostly briars 7-8 ft tall) but the spray let the grass move back in.
 

jedstivers

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TennesseeTuxedo":323sn0c4 said:
I think it takes a three pronged approach, fertilizer & other soil treatment, spraying weeds, and mowing to improve pastures.
This
As every area of the country is diffrent its hard to give a answer without firsthand knowledge of said area.
However where ever you are it won't be a one shot deal. It will take several things.
Ironically the best way "here" to improve pasture is graze it to the dirt all summer. Graze so hard you have to keep hay out. Do that and mow or spray any weeds that they don't eat and the next late winter/early spring spray and fertilize and we have tremendous Bermuda grass.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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GAonmymind":3szxpdxc said:




One side of the pasture with Grazon Next and one side without. It is the same fence in the background of both pics. Note it killed the horse nettles, pigweed, poke weed, fennel. The black stuff on the fence is the knee high microstegium. One more shot in April for buttercups.

Huge difference.
 
OP
herofan

herofan

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BFE":26s7fi3b said:
Mowing was needed to get rid of the patches (mostly briars 7-8 ft tall) but the spray let the grass move back in.

That was another question I had. Will the grass
return on its own if I can get rid of the weeds, or will sewing grass seed be required?
 

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