Forage Basics series continues

Corn spurry, a potentially invasive pasture weed.

Corn spurry, a potentially invasive pasture weed.

by Dan Porch

The third and final class in the Forage Basics series will be conducted on Thursday, May 17, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the Frank Green Building auditorium. The program will focus on weed and insect control in forage production.

Producers growing forage for cattle, goats, sheep, or horses understand the need to control weed and insect pests. The last couple of years, fall armyworms have been numerous across the county. If left unchecked and untreated, they can mow a pasture or hayfield fairly quickly.

Weed pests are numerous as well. Yellow pastures in spring create quite a picture from a distance, but compete for nutrients, sunlight, and water with desired forages.

This past week, an individual brought in a weed pest from a hayfield in the Trafford area. It was identified as “corn spurry”(Spergula arvensis), an annual plant. Producers are limited in the number of selective herbicides that can be used in fescue pastures to control this weed. It was flowering, so the best thing to do at this point is to mow it to keep it from seeding.

Another interesting aspect of this situation is that this plant is normally a pest in South Alabama. How it traveled to Trafford is anyone’s guess. Hopefully, it can be contained and controlled on site and will not spread to other forage production areas.

Join us on May 17 to learn the latest on weed and insect control measures. Please contact the extension office at (205) 274-2129 to register for this free program.