Scout Forage Stands for Winter Annuals NOW. Last week Mark Loux reminded us to control cressleaf groundsel and other winter annual weeds now. If you haven’t read that article, go read it right now, Our Annual Article to Nag about Fall Herbicides and Cressleaf Groundsel, and read the other articles linked in that one.
Scouting hayfields and pastures and applying controls this month, especially in NEW FORAGE STANDS seeded this summer and early autumn, is absolutely critical to AVOID A NIGHTMARE NEXT SPRING.
JUST DO IT! We really don’t want to say next spring, “WE TOLD YOU SO LAST FALL” ---that would bring us no joy at all and your regret will be painful if you don’t listen to this advice…
I am being blunt because we really want to avoid the nightmares we have seen in fields the past few springs. We have good tools to use this fall to avoid nightmare weed problems next spring that will require throwing the forage away because of toxic weeds in the stand.
Thank you for taking this warning to heart!
Weed ID and Control Resources
OSU has resources to help with the identification and control of these problematic weed species. In the abovementioned article, dandelion, wild carrot, poison hemlock, cressleaf groundsel and annual bluegrass were highlighted. Identification of these and other problematic species is covered in the Common Ohio Winter Annual Weed Identification video. We also have a collection of digital books that can be helpful for weed ID on the go.
These and other winter annual species are most easily controlled with herbicides in the fall. Control efforts implemented now through November will reduce issues with these weeds come spring when they are harder to kill. The best resource for weed control recommendations is the Weed Control Guide for Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois; many of these species are featured in the “Control of Problem Weeds” section. The forages and grass pasture sections of this guide cover herbicide options for weed management in these systems.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Fall herbicide applications help to ensure a clean start next spring and are the best management strategy for some of the most difficult to control winter annual species.