Most of the animals that we graze on acreages get most of their nutrition from pastures. These animals may include cattle, horses, sheep, or goats. Many times we see lots of weeds in our pastures this time of year. We are tempted to graze these pastures heavily to get the animals to eat these unpalatable plants but this is not good for the health of the grasses. Grazing that allows sufficient leaf area to remain following grazing will allow for rapid growth, allows good winterizing, and holds snow and rain moisture on the land rather than running off will benefit the desirable grasses.
Giving pasture plants adequate time to recover after grazing before grazing again is another way to improve or maintain pasture health and strengthen the competitive ability of desirable plants.
A good way to control weeds is to clip or spray the weeds while they are in the vegetative stage rather than waiting until they are in the reproductive stage when seeds are developing and maturing.
Weeds in a pasture can indicate the pasture is not in a healthy condition. Controlling the weeds is not enough. Changing management to strengthen desireable grasses and legumes is essential. These practices should include pasture rotational grazing, fertilization, and/or reducing stocking rate of livestock.