Controlling Pasture Weeds
Prevent these noxious and nuisance weeds from overtaking desirable grasses.
Healthy pastures provide excellent nutrition for horses during the growing season; an abundance of pasture forage can mean you’ll spend less on hay. But like any garden or lawn, a pasture must be maintained to flourish. Neglect a pasture, and you’ll find yourself saddled with a long-term weed problem. A few weeds here and there can look innocent enough, but once they’ve taken hold, these plants compete for pasture space, pushing out desirable vegetation. Some weeds are even toxic to horses.
“Horse owners tend to think if there’s green stuff out there and horses are eating, everything must be okay,” says Karen Waite, MS, PhD, extension specialist at Michigan State University. “But they don’t think about what that green stuff is.”
William Witt, PhD, retired specialist in plant science at the University of Kentucky, says preventive action is key to dealing with weeds, but owners often neglect this side of horse keeping. “We get busy, we don’t notice what’s happening in the pasture, and a lot of people don’t understand the magnitude of the problem,” he
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