Dogfennel – Weed ID Wednesday

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Have you scouted any of your pastures or hayfields yet? If you haven’t, this week’s weed is the perfect reason to get started. Your options for controlling dogfennel directly depend on the height of the plant. The smaller the plant, the better control you should see. Check out this article on the timing of weed control.

Dogfennel is especially problematic because it spreads both by seed and by branching off of its main taproot. This is an excellent time of year to look into dogfennel control because it is actively growing and has yet to bloom. When scouting your pastures for weeds, if you come across dogfennel- make a note of how tall it is. This will help determine how aggressive your control method will need to be. This article breaks down dogfennel height into 3 categories- 20 inches or less, 20 – 36 inches, and above 36 inches. It goes into detail as to what control options are best for each height range.

A heavy presence of dogfennel in your pastures need to be a reason to put a pen or pencil to your management plan. Ask yourself these questions-

  1. Have you taken a soil sample in the last three years?
  2. If you have taken a soil sample recently, did you apply lime and fertilizer per those recommendations?
  3. What measures do you take to ensure that your pasture is not overgrazed?
    1. What is your stocking rate? (# of animals per acre)
    2. Do you rotate pastures?
    3. How short is your grass when you rotate?

These questions are a great starting point for re-evaluating your management plan for your pastures. Reach out to your local extension agent to continue this conversation.

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