Did You Know… Winter Weed Identification and Control in Bermudagrass Pastures Q&A

Adapted from Leon Warren’s “Winter Weed Identification in Coastal Bermudagrass Fields” presentation at CCA Training.

 Why should I be concerned with grass weeds and broadleaf weeds?

Grass weeds interfere with hay drying and growing pure stands. Grass weeds are not typically a health concern except johnsongrass. Broadleaf weeds are noxious, toxic, and due to their prickly nature, make it hard or impossible for livestock to graze them.

 Why is it important to identify your weeds early?

Early identification will help you control the weeds before your actual crop gets thinned out. You may be able to save money because younger plants usually require less herbicide. Some mature plants can not be controlled by herbicide no matter the rate. Weed seeds will not be killed by herbicides, just the parent plant- not offspring.

 When is the best time to control weeds in winter annuals and cool season perennials?

Usually October through December because weeds are young and actively growing. There are many factors that affect the best time to control weeds such as germination. Another good time to control winter weeds is February through April because they are starting their final growth spurt. However, you don’t want to wait too late by allowing the weeds to seed out.

When is a bad time to try to control weeds in winter annuals and cool season perennials?

Usually December through February is a bad time to try to control your winter weeds. However, you can apply glyphosate and paraquat to winter weeds on dormant bermuda during these months.

 Is it permitted to pump hog waste on dormant bermuda in the winter?

No, because nitrogen will not be utilized and you increase the potential for runoff in streams and ditches. However, you can apply hog waste to cover crops such as cereal grains and winter grasses because they are actively growing in the winter.

 What are several common winter weeds that I need to look out for?

Henbit – winter annual broadleaf; common chickweed – winter annual broadleaf; white clover – perennial broadleaf; curly dock – perennial broadleaf; wild mustard – winter annual broadleaf; wild radish – winter annual broadleaf; Carolina geranium – winter annual broadleaf; Shepard’s purse – winter annual broadleaf; spiny sowthistle – winter annual broadleaf; hairy bittercress – winter annual broadleaf; common dandelion – perennial broadleaf; buckhorn plantain – perennial broadleaf; buttercup – annual / perennial broadleaf; horseweed – annual broadleaf; vetch – winter annual or perennial broadleaf; cutleaf evening primrose – biennial broadleaf; wild garlic – clump forming perennial.

 ***ALWAYS READ LABELS. Cooperative Extension agents can help you identify your weeds and help recommend a weed control program. However, it is very important you always read labels and adhere to restrictions – in livestock, especially hay and grazing restrictions. For more information, contact your local Cooperative Extension livestock agent.

 North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability.  In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.  North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.

This article is scheduled to be published in the Jones Post newspaper on December 20, 2012 and was compiled by Margaret A. Bell, Livestock Agent – Craven & Jones Counties.

Written By

Margaret RossExtension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock (252) 633-1477 Craven County, North Carolina

Posted on Dec 19, 2012

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