Yellow Flowers in Pastures

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buttercup seedling

Buttercup seedling

Last spring, did you have beautiful yellow flowers covering your pastures? Although these flowers, commonly known as buttercup, are pretty to look at, they have no nutritional value and can take important nutrients from the plants you are trying to grow in your pasture. This weed, which is a winter annual, should be sprayed in late winter or early spring for the best kill. So, now is the time to go out and scout your pastures and see if the little rosette stage of buttercup is there already. These weeds will be short since they have just emerged. If you wait until they are blooming to spray, you will be wasting your time and money as the blooming plant has already set seed for the following year’s plants. And the mature blooming plants will die once it turns warm in the summer. (They are a winter annual so they will not survive past their growing season.)  We’re starting to have some warm days, but it’s still winter so too early to spray right now. But never too early to start planning (think about mid-March as your target date). For effective herbicide applications, make sure you spray when we’ve had several warm days (above 55 degrees). Your control will be very poor if you spray when the air temperature is too cold. It may take a couple of years of spraying to control the weed. Those weeds didn’t just get that prolific over a single year so it will take you a few years of diligent scouting and spraying at the appropriate time to get them under control. It is still very early in their spring growing so they should be pretty susceptible to herbicides. Most any of the broadleaf herbicides will be effective. Herbicide application now will also help control other winter annual broadleaf weeds such as henbit.

Remember:  Always read and follow the label directions prior to using any chemicals.

Henbit seedling surrounded by buttercup seedling

Henbit seedling surrounded by buttercup seedling