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Pasture Management and Upcoming Free Field Day

Local graziers will call Purdue Extension periodically for pasture management advice, whether it be regarding weeds, stocking rates, renovation needs, integrated pest management advice or forage species selection. Today we’ll focus on weeds.

Recently, we provided a program locally on identifying poisonous weeds in pastures. Some of the toxic weeds to look for in Indiana include: cress-leaf groundsel, white snakeroot, Carolina horsenettle, climbing nightshade, horsetail, jimsonweed, common milkweed, hemp dogbane, common pokeweed, common burdock, cocklebur, stinging nettle, star of Bethlehem, buttercup, and poison hemlock.

There are many potential toxic weeds in pastures. Fortunately, many of them don’t taste very good and livestock generally avoid them until they have no other choice. Additionally, the level of toxicity and symptoms they produce will vary from plant to plant and from one livestock or animal species to another.

Of course, there are also the common weed varieties that are problematic in pastures, as they compete with, and ultimately reduce yield of desired forage species. An upcoming free virtual program will benefit producers on this front.

Purdue Extension invites livestock farmers and ranchers to join “Controlling Pasture Weeds,” a virtual field day on Feb. 1, 2021 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. (ET). Participants will learn about pasture research occurring at Purdue and best practices for controlling weeds on the farm.

Purdue faculty and extension specialists will discuss pasture research that was completed at Scholer Farm and share drone footage and videos. Participants will learn how to reduce weeds in a pasture and steps to getting herbicides approved for use.

“Controlling weeds in pastures is an important thing to consider so you have pasture resources that are appropriate for the livestock being fed, particularly for those weeds that don’t have any nutritional value or are toxic,” said Keith Johnson, Purdue Extension forage specialist and field day organizer.

Register for the field day at For accommodation or more information, contact Keith Johnson at 765-427-2775 or

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