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thistles

showing71

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Every year we spot spray for thistles with 2,4-D. In the past that seems to have kept them under control, almost to the point where by July, we have hardly any in the pasture. We do what we can with them, but we have neighboring pastures where the owners may spray once, or not at all. This year, my sister and I have been out in full force spraying with 2,4-D and Hired Hand since the beginning of May. Usually by now, we only have to spend a couple hours a week spraying, but this year we have been spending 4-6 hours every day spraying. The thistles are bigger than ever, some being 3 feet across at the base. After a couple days of being sprayed, the thistles are barely wilting and the grass around them is being burnt. So my question is, can thistles become immune to 2,4-D? Is there something better we can be spraying on them?
 

hayray

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I have been using 2-4 D Ester and it is working real well. Double check that your application is correct, ie. concentration, coverage. Use some crop oil or diesle fuel.
 

showing71

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hayray":2aehg6mu said:
I have been using 2-4 D Ester and it is working real well. Double check that your application is correct, ie. concentration, coverage. Use some crop oil or diesle fuel.
Application is correct, just went and checked. I'll try the fuel.
 

SFFarms

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We also did alot of spot spraying of thistles with 2-4-d this year. :frowns: Mostly it recommended I think 4 ounces a gallon. We used 6 ounces a gallon and got the wilting and kind of curling and some died. Some one told me to mix just a lil roundup so we did and the results seemed a little bit better. I was told that forefront was the best to spray them with but I never used it.
 

dun

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The bigger the resette the bigger the root. The bigger the root the longer it will take to show much affect. Mixing herbicides much stronger then the recommended amount will frequently just burn off the exposed parts and not affect the root so the plant will just come back.
 

plumber_greg

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This time of the year we use Remdy and Hi-Dep. Doesn't kill the grass and seems to be effective and you can kill brush at the same time, gs
 

novaman

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What kind of thistle are we talking? Russian? Canada? If its Russian that should be knocked out pretty easily with a 2,4-d but it would be possible there is some resistance building. Best thing to do is alternate between chemicals. If its Canada I've found that Curtail does a good job. Canada thistle has a very large roots system so unless you catch it very early, repeat applications may be necessary. I wouldn't suggest using diesel if your trying to avoid damaging the grass. Grandfather always mixed spray with diesel and it surely knocked the weeds out. Problem was there were big bare spots left behind. Bare spots equal more weeds in the future.
 

edrsimms

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As long as you are spot spraying might as well kick it in the head with Paraquat---Restricted Use Herbicide, but will only burn the grass and it will come back if you have a little overspray.
Hope that helps
 

showing71

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novaman":2oze61se said:
What kind of thistle are we talking? Russian? Canada? If its Russian that should be knocked out pretty easily with a 2,4-d but it would be possible there is some resistance building. Best thing to do is alternate between chemicals. If its Canada I've found that Curtail does a good job. Canada thistle has a very large roots system so unless you catch it very early, repeat applications may be necessary. I wouldn't suggest using diesel if your trying to avoid damaging the grass. Grandfather always mixed spray with diesel and it surely knocked the weeds out. Problem was there were big bare spots left behind. Bare spots equal more weeds in the future.
There's musk, plumeless, canadian, and bull thistles in the pastures. We have mostly musk and the rest are in small patches. The 2,4-D seems to get the 3, but it isn't killing the musk. Sorry about that. I should have specified.
 

Alberta farmer

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Lontrel works well. Curtail is a mixture of 24D and Lontrel. GrazeOn is an excellent thistle killer and leaves a residue in the ground for three years. Restore is a combination of 24D and aminopyralid and is probably one of the safest products around(it also has residual properties). If you can get it Tordon 22K is the ultimate thistle killer but very expensive.
 

hrbelgians

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I will pass on a tip to kill thistles which I just learned about in the last two weeks.

This is what the old fella told me.
5 drops of kerosene in the top right into the heart of the plant and it will kill it from the top down plus go right on down into the root system and wipe it out as well.

So I got me a little kerosene and headed for the field but was a little sceptical about 5 drops so I gave them a little squirt right into the heart.

Result has been pretty interesting to this point as they are turning black and mushy in the center and it is headed downward!! Once it gets low enough, it effects the next branch of leaves and so on, so we will see how they really respond long term??? Can't complain about the cost!!
 

tytower

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All talk here is about spraying. With the exception of the last with kero. For bananas we inject a little kero in the stem and it kills completely.
I think it would work on thistles also.

The time and money you are spending on this though you would be better with the trusty old farmers standby , chipping.
Get a long handled hoe ,sharpen it , one strike through the root 1/2 inch below ground level and it won't be back . Then you will only have new seeds to worry about . Believe me this way works and it sounds like your problem keeps coming back your way. No damage to the paddock soil or the grass the farmers way
 

SRBeef

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What about some plain old steel?

When thistles get a certain size it would take extremely potent sprays to really kill a big thistle. I just don't want to use anything potent enough to kill a 3ft diameter thistle sprayed in my pasture where sooner or later I'll be running my cattle which I and others will be eating.

As my Grandmother used to tell me when I was a kid: "we are what we eat" That applies to my cattle too.

I have actually seen my cattle eat very small thistle plants likle they are candy - IF they are in a rotational grazing system.

The key is to keep them from getting too large and going to seed.

I am finding that this cool damp spring in the north my pastures, especially the red clover, is growing faster than the cattle can eat it. It then gets stemmy and less paletable.

So I am rotating cattle thru the paddocks more rapidly than usual and before they really get it down.

I then go in with my flail mower set high at about 4 to 5". The pasture then comes back very nice and even - and in the process I also take the tops off of the thistle. They are not resistant to steel!

I haver also gotten into the habit of carrying a simple old style golf club like sicle in the Ranger. When checking the cattle I carry the sicle and take a wack at thistles in places tough to get to with the mower like along and under some fences and in corners mostly to keep themm frtom going to seed. This seems to work and a lot less dangerous than spraying extremely toxic herbicides to try to get big thistles.

I like the kerosene idea, will have to try that. Thank you.

Jim
 

showing71

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tytower":9x5ar80f said:
All talk here is about spraying. With the exception of the last with kero. For bananas we inject a little kero in the stem and it kills completely.
I think it would work on thistles also.

The time and money you are spending on this though you would be better with the trusty old farmers standby , chipping.
Get a long handled hoe ,sharpen it , one strike through the root 1/2 inch below ground level and it won't be back . Then you will only have new seeds to worry about . Believe me this way works and it sounds like your problem keeps coming back your way. No damage to the paddock soil or the grass the farmers way
I usually pull the heads off in July when there isn't as many alive anymore and they are few and far between. It's too time consuming to chop them right now with 500 acres of pasture.
 

showing71

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hrbelgians":3jv5iozm said:
I will pass on a tip to kill thistles which I just learned about in the last two weeks.

This is what the old fella told me.
5 drops of kerosene in the top right into the heart of the plant and it will kill it from the top down plus go right on down into the root system and wipe it out as well.

So I got me a little kerosene and headed for the field but was a little sceptical about 5 drops so I gave them a little squirt right into the heart.

Result has been pretty interesting to this point as they are turning black and mushy in the center and it is headed downward!! Once it gets low enough, it effects the next branch of leaves and so on, so we will see how they really respond long term??? Can't complain about the cost!!
I'm gonna have to try that. Thanks!
 

hrbelgians

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showing71":dg00ekyc said:
hrbelgians":dg00ekyc said:
I will pass on a tip to kill thistles which I just learned about in the last two weeks.

This is what the old fella told me.
5 drops of kerosene in the top right into the heart of the plant and it will kill it from the top down plus go right on down into the root system and wipe it out as well.

So I got me a little kerosene and headed for the field but was a little sceptical about 5 drops so I gave them a little squirt right into the heart.

Result has been pretty interesting to this point as they are turning black and mushy in the center and it is headed downward!! Once it gets low enough, it effects the next branch of leaves and so on, so we will see how they really respond long term??? Can't complain about the cost!!
I'm gonna have to try that. Thanks!

You are welcome and good luck!!
 

Stocker Steve

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hrbelgians":12yyps9z said:
So I got me a little kerosene and headed for the field but was a little sceptical about 5 drops so I gave them a little squirt right into the heart.

Result has been pretty interesting to this point as they are turning black and mushy in the center and it is headed downward!

What to you drip with?
Will diesel or gasoline work as well as kerosene?
 

Stocker Steve

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showing71":37iiu9k7 said:
Is there something better we can be spraying on them?

2-4D is pretty weak this time of year. Wetting agent should not be needed when you are hosing them down with a spot sprayer. Curtail or Mlestome cost more but work much better in the spring and summer.

May want to cut them (an old sickle mower can work for pasture patches) now and then spray the new ones with 2-4D in the fall.
 

novaman

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I heard a rumor that if Canada thistle was mowed and it rained on it shortly afterwards, the plant would die. Last summer I experimented by mowing it and then soaking it with water immediately afterward. A majority of it never came back, at least last summer. I haven't checked it yet this year.
 

hillrancher

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We spot spray and have had good luck. When they start to bloom and have several blossoms on we add remedy and up the surfactant. From now till frost they are very hard to kill. If you add more 2-4d we used grazon p+d it will burn the contact portion and will not kill. After a rain or shower we will add more 2-4d or what ever because the plant is already wet. It will dilute the spray.
 
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