Broadacre spraying of pastures is intended to reduce undesirable plants and increase grasses for livestock. This practice often results in unintended consequences, including damage and reduction of native forbs and reduced profitability. One approach to managing perceived “weedy” plants is incorporating different species of livestock into a grazing operation.
The South Dakota Pest Management guides are now available for free. The guides offer recommendations for controlling weeds, insects, and diseases in a variety of South Dakota crops.
Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.
While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.
Volunteer trees can hinder the development of desirable wildlife habitat and livestock resources. Early control of volunteer woody species is the simplest and most cost-effective option for maintaining open grassland habitats.
Under what circumstances would removal of mature shelterbelts be warranted? This is a common question often asked in wildlife and conservation circles.
Livestock will graze Canada goldenrod, Canada thistle and perennial sow thistle. At certain times of the year, these plants have crude protein, total digestible nutrients, and invitro dry matter digestibility concentrations similar to alfalfa and other common forages.
Noxious weed control is often a long-term process. In some cases, chemical application may be deemed necessary, but it should always be considered in the context of appropriate management and an integrated best management framework.