DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. — With the weather remaining relatively warm later in the season, winter weeds may be slow to get their start. Drought throughout much of the Panhandle has added to their sluggishness. That however, does not mean they’ve given up. Even if you haven’t noticed them in your pastures already, weeds like wild radish, thistle, and Florida betony will soon make an appearance. If they are left to grow unchecked, they can harm the health of the pasture and impact forage quality. Controlling weeds is a must.
These weeds love cooler temperatures and can get a foothold as the growth of pasture grasses slow. Maintaining a healthy through proper soil fertility and grazing management pasture can help prevent some weeds from becoming a problem. A thick dense stand of grass can out-compete most other plants and leaves very little bare ground for the establishment of weeds. Even with good pasture management it is still important to scout regularly and identify weed problems while they are small. Control weeds while they are young, as old and well-established weeds are more difficult to control and are more likely to have set seed.