Stickweed / Yellow Crownbeard – Weed ID Wednesday
This week’s pasture weed is Yellow Crownbeard, or stickweed. Stickweed is a perennial weed and can grow quite tall, as much as 10-12 ft, but is usually around 3-4 ft tall. It has medium to large leaves and has a small yellow flower. It’s most distinguishable feature are the “wings” that run along the stem, as pictured below.
Livestock will usually not eat stickweed and with its tall presence, it can shade out places in our pastures or hayfields where grass could be growing instead. As it dies off for the year, it leaves a stick standing in its place over the winter months.
The effectiveness of your control options for stickweed, or yellow crownbeard, greatly depend on the size and maturity of your plants. If they are still smaller in size with more tender stems, you can expect a better outcome than if they are taller with a woodier stem. Even if you catch them while small and actively growing, please remember that a good weed control program never really ends. This means that even though you may see some decline in weed populations the first year, know that you will need to continue to scout for weeds and re-evaluate control methods each growing season.
A study from Virginia Tech states that “Stickweed was controlled 93 percent and 83 percent in 2001 and 2002, respectively, with 2 pints per acre of Grazon P+D (Table 2). However, at least 3 pints of Redeem R&P per acre were required to achieve this same level of stickweed control. Crossbow, 2,4-D alone, or 2,4-D in combination with Banvel generally controlled stickweed between 67 and 83 percent. However, using Banvel alone or Ally resulted in less than 50 percent stickweed control.”
No matter what control option you choose, be sure to fully read the label of any products that you use.