Controlling weeds in paddocks is important because they:
- Compete with grass for space, light, nutrients and water.
- Are unpalatable to your horse or pony.
- Can be poisonous, e.g. ragwort or buttercup.
- Take over the paddock and if left unchecked limit ability to graze.
- Can spread to neighbouring properties.
- Make pastures look messy, untidy and unkempt.
There are several control options. These include:
- Dig them out - OK for small numbers.
- Cut them down - temporary effect as perennial weeds will grow back.
- Use a herbicide – via a knapsack or boom sprayer (ATV or tractor).
Which herbicide to use?
Much will depend on how many weeds are present. Knapsack control works out more cost effective if weed populations are below 5% (count number of docks or thistles in a 5m x 7m area – this number gives the % weed population).
Choose a product that will deliver a:
- High level of safety so grass growth is unaffected.
- Short grazing interval so animals can return back to paddocks quickly.
Envy™ and Grazon®Pro meet these requirements. They are professional use products which you can use if you hold a PA2 (for boom sprayer) and/or PA6 (for knapsack) certificate of competence (visit www.nptc.org.uk for details of your nearest course). If not then seek training or employ a spray contractor or local farmer to do the job for you. To find a local spray contractor use "find a spray contractor" support tool in the Grassland App.
- Where grass is over grazed or short of nitrogen it struggles to compete with dominant weeds like buttercups, dandelions and daisies.
- Envy controls these weeds and more.
- Very safe to grass.
- Has a stock withdrawal period of just 7 days (but could be longer if poisonous weeds such as ragwort are present).
- Translocates deep into the roots ensuring a lasting level of control.
- No residues in manure.
- Apply via a boom sprayer.
- Apply between 1st February and 30th November.
- Designed for application via a knapsack sprayer.
- Provides excellent control of broadleaved dock, curled dock, creeping thistle, spear thistle and common nettle and also has an effect on a large range of other weeds.
- Fast-acting and moves to the roots ensuring high levels of long-term control.
- Stock grazing can resume 7 days after application (but longer if poisonous weeds such as ragwort are present).
- It is very good value for money – 16 knapsacks from each litre of product when mixed in 10 litre batches.
It is rainfast in only 2 hours and is very safe to grass.