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Broadleaf Weed Killers for Pasture-What are the Products with No Grazing Restrictions

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  • Broadleaf Weed Killers for Pasture-What are the Products with No Grazing Restrictions

    I know there are several weed killers that you can use that are safe to leave the horses out there. My local co op swears that 2 4D is but I have heard mixed reviews from folks.

    I know in a perfect world I'd keep horses off pasture until it rains...but I just don't have the space to do that right now nor enough cross fencing.

    I am hoping to get myself a boom sprayer and use my existing 30 gallon sprayer this weekend but I really really want some feedback from other horse farm owners and not just the feed store guy trying to sell me something.

    I am googling but not getting a lot to pop up easily...

    Thanks!
  • Original Poster

    #2
    Ok...I did find something from the VA Coop Extension office that lists products and grazing restrictions by species, but it's a big document and I'm perusing it now. I'd still appreciate any insight from anyone on the safest herbicides to use around horses and your experiences with them.

    Thanks!

    Comment


    • #3
      I have usd the 2-4D products for a number of years without any complications (that I'm aware of). The only restrictions I've ever read are for milking cows. I did pull pregnant mares off of a treated pasture until after a rain and a mowing, even though the grazing restrictions don't specify it.

      For the rest of the herd, I usually pull them off the just-treated areas for a few days, just because it's not a problem to do so and it just makes me feel better.

      Read your label, because there are some variations in the 2-4D product. But I'm comfortable using it to keep the pastures weed free safely.
      Far Away Farm

      Comment


      • #4
        I use agricultural vinegar (20% strength). I don't believe anything else is safe. I spray it, and make sure I'm well protected -- lab gloves, goggles, etc. -- since the stuff is highly caustic. It works with the sun, and you may have to apply more than once, but at least you don't have to worry. Being extra cautious, I wait until the plants shrivel up and die (often in a matter of hours if it's sunny), or it rains, before I give the horses access.
        The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry
        www.reflectionsonriding.com

        Comment


        • #5
          Vinegar works as well on grass as it does on broadleaved plants, so it would only be appropriate for spot treatments.

          Comment


          • #6
            Forefront! LOVE the stuff. I did keep my horses off of it for a few days. And one horse did get some irritation on his pasterns but boy, does that stuff work great.
            Even duct tape can't fix stupid

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe I am just an old hippie, but I will not use any type of chemical herbicide in my pastures. I have found that mowing, walking them with a weed rooter, and pulling them up by hand does fine. My personal feeling about all those chemicals still boils down to "a little here, a little there" from Products A, B, and C adds up to an accumulation over time in the body. I do not judge by whether or not I see immediate reactions. My worries are in more of a long term sense, I do not think individual companies are concerned with accumulation effects, so long as their one product is deemed "safe".
              Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

              Comment


              • #8
                24D and Grazon

                I have used both with no problems. The Grazon was made specifically for not removing the horses or grazers.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Tothenines...I'm completely with you and up to this year, I've resisted spraying my fields at all...but I have a terrible infestation of buttercups and they are impeding the growth of grass. I'm the last person to be liberal with chemicals.

                  When we bought this farm, it had been very badly neglected in care...pastures had not been mowed for years and to the point of saplings growing up in the fields. We've made huge strides in the last few years with just culture but I think I'm going to have to go after the broadleafs and try to give my pasture grasses a chance to get ahead.

                  easyrider...is the vinegar safe for horses immediately? I've never heard of doing that. Does it only kill broadleaf weeds?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Will any of these mentioned help with pigweed?

                    I love the idea of vinegar, would never have thought about it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      More on vinegar. apcohrs is correct that vinegar is not a selective herbicide. It will kill everything it comes in contact with, including grass. We don't use it on buttercups, we use it on the weeds we don't pull out by hand.

                      I like to make sure it's not coating anything the horses could eat, because it's so caustic, so I like to let the plant wither to brown nothingness or have it rain before letting the horses there. If I need to cordon something off, I use my Horseguard stakes and tape, non-electrified.

                      You probably know that buttercups are signs of overly wet or acid soil, so changing the PH can help. We have buttercups here and I used to get hysterical about pulling every one out of fear that the horses would eat them and get sick, but I've found that not only do new buttercups grow in a matter of hours, but the horses don't eat them (too bitter and too many delicious alternatives), so I've stopped worrying all that much. I usually spend a few hours each season pulling buttercups, and there are fewer and fewer each year. Of course, if you're overrun, my method doesn't work!

                      Good luck this year!
                      The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry
                      www.reflectionsonriding.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by paintjumper View Post
                        I have used both with no problems. The Grazon was made specifically for not removing the horses or grazers.
                        do these products kill grass as well or only target weeds? We have a lot of weeds so spot or pulling by hand is not feasible. How does it work on blackberry bushes?
                        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I embrace my weeds...at least they're green and the only thing growing that I don't kill.
                          Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses
                          http://www.midwestnha.wordpress.com[/INDENT]

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Goats?

                            Not sure if it's okay for livestock grazing...but I use a pre-emergement broadleaf killer on my lawn. It goes down very early in the year...possibly using that and keeping the horses off the grass for a week or two?
                            You jump in the saddle,
                            Hold onto the bridle!
                            Jump in the line!
                            ...Belefonte

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              2,4-D works just fine and has no grazing restriction. Same with Grazon and products like it, other than lactating animals.

                              Still. . . I do keep my horses off the fields for a day or two. Given the choice between them grazing fresh herbicide and staying inside for half a day or a day, I'd probably choose the latter.
                              Click here before you buy.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                                I know there are several weed killers that you can use that are safe to leave the horses out there. My local co op swears that 2 4D is but I have heard mixed reviews from folks.

                                I know in a perfect world I'd keep horses off pasture until it rains...but I just don't have the space to do that right now nor enough cross fencing.

                                I am hoping to get myself a boom sprayer and use my existing 30 gallon sprayer this weekend but I really really want some feedback from other horse farm owners and not just the feed store guy trying to sell me something.

                                I am googling but not getting a lot to pop up easily...

                                Thanks!
                                The problem is not so much the materials, themselves. They all come with an insert that tells what limits, if any, are to be observed with grazing animals after spraying.

                                What they don't consider is that weeds, particularly noxious weeds, can change in equine palatability as they die. Something that is gross tasting (and dangerous) to a horse while thriving might be much less gross tasting (but still dangerous) as it dies. For this reason after I spray I keep the stock of until it's clear that the weeds I'm going after are showing clear signs of impending death. They I wait a bit longer.

                                G.
                                Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                                  I have a terrible infestation of buttercups
                                  DB - if you've got an infestation of buttercups your soil probably needs lime.

                                  Check out what sorts of weeds you're growing - weeds are indicator species for what kind of soil you have. (wet, dry, acid, alkaline)

                                  By all means kill 'em off but while you're at it do a soil test and see what's going on.

                                  Good luck - I'm jealous you can get into your fields - mine are soaked.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Jessie...I can't get in mine quite yet but we're getting there...if it would EVER quit raining.

                                    Yes, good point on my soil. I know it's poor and it's also very wet. This is reclaimed swamp land. I have a lot of compost to spread on it this Spring also but I do know lime would almost certainly help. I have to do what I can as I can afford it also.

                                    Guilherme...good point on the dying weeds also. Right now the weeds are very small and just starting up so it's a good time to get them...and they won't be as tasty as the now emerging grass. I overseeded with rye last Fall and that is finally getting going again.

                                    Mistyglue...NO goats! I hate goats! I hate loose goats and smelly goats...and that practically covers the entire species. ;-)

                                    Deltawave..I'm hoping by doing this myself that I can do just that...pull horses off a day or two after I spray and then try to rotate them around.

                                    Sounds like the vinegar might be overkill literally! ;-)

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by JSwan View Post
                                      DB - if you've got an infestation of buttercups your soil probably needs lime.

                                      Check out what sorts of weeds you're growing - weeds are indicator species for what kind of soil you have. (wet, dry, acid, alkaline)

                                      By all means kill 'em off but while you're at it do a soil test and see what's going on.

                                      Good luck - I'm jealous you can get into your fields - mine are soaked.
                                      Here in the Pacific NW, soils are often very acidic...we can grow killer blueberries and rhododendrons.....

                                      I have a Buttercup infestation as well....too wet and too acid...

                                      I asked the extension agent after one of his pasture management talks what I could do about the buttercups....

                                      His answer....

                                      "move"

                                      Turn off the computer and go ride!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Mistyglue...NO goats! I hate goats! I hate loose goats and smelly goats...and that practically covers the entire species. ;-)
                                        Soooo, you don't want goats? LOL, yeah I'm not a huge fan of goats either. Add to the smelly list that they're practically impossible to fence in.

                                        And yep, if you have buttercups you have acidic as heck soil. Welcome to my world. What grows here at my house:
                                        Rhododendrons, azaleas, hostas, moss, crab grass, buttercups, mountain laurel (lovely toxic to horses stuff) and rocks. And more moss.
                                        This weekend I have to go outside and lime, lime, lime my lawn and then lime it some more. And then put down that pe-emergement stuff from Scott's. And it *has* to go out this weekend or else it will not work. My lilacs are just starting to bud and the pre-emergement stuff has to be down before it blooms or it's just wasted.
                                        And then this fall I have to lime again. One year I drove the tractor up to the house, dropped the rake and ripped off the entire front and back lawn. Yeah...I was pissed off, LOL! Took a soil sample to the extension office...for my half acre lawn they recommended 42 bags of lime. I'm not kidding. Now all I need is 1/4 of that twice annually, but I can't miss one season or everything dies and the moss and crabgrass grow back.

                                        I'll be liming the heck out of my grass paddock this fall, then fertilizing and seeding it. It has grass now (and weeds) but it's not fenced. Am having pros fence it for me (since I suck at fencing) and the machines doing the fencing and putting in a new swayle or two will tear up that paddock anyways. But I cringe thinking about how much lime that small field will need. Liming does help keep down a *lot* of the broadleaf crap...I think that broadleaf crap likes acidic soil too.
                                        You jump in the saddle,
                                        Hold onto the bridle!
                                        Jump in the line!
                                        ...Belefonte

                                        Comment

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