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 6. Farm Facilities & Equipment
 Weed Control
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LedfordMillAlpacas

6 Posts

Posted - 04/27/2016 :  10:33:37 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've heard that certain products out there may be harmful to our alpacas, particularly anything with 2-4-d.

Is there anything spray out there that will get rid of the weeds but leave my grasses and animals unharmed?

Ledford Mill Alpacas
Deb & Hal Corum
3715 Ledford Mill Road
Wartrace, TN

renfarms

469 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2016 :  3:36:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Deb and Hal,

Not sure how much area you are wanting to treat or what weeds you are trying to kill off, but I'll take a stab at answering. Others may have more ideas.

One possibility is to identify the weeds, and if they are safe and have some nutritional value (dandelions, plantain weed, poison ivy, etc.), you may want to consider leaving some of them in place, as the pacas may eat them.

One easier way is to keep your pastures mowed to a height of 6", Some weeds can't tolerate this and will die off. It will also stop many of them from reaching a height where they can go to seed and spread. Other weeds, you may be able to deal with using a spray of white vinegar. Some people spot kill weeds using a propane tank and torch attachment.

One possible thing to explore is to contact your local county extension agency. They will usually be willing/able to send someone out to your farm to walk your pastures with you and identify the various plants you are dealing with. They may also have some helpful suggestions for solutions for you. Another thing that a county extension agent can usually do is take some soil samples back with him and provide you with a soil analysis. This can be helpful, because some weeds only do well in certain poor soil conditions. If you test your soils, you may be able to improve your soils with amendments, etc. that can provide a less friendly environment for some of those weeds, and reduce or remove them from your pastures.

Depending upon the size of the area, and amount/type of weeds, old-fashioned removal by hand can help to eliminate certain weeds. Years ago, we successfully removed wild mustard simply by hand-pulling for a couple of years in a row. Now we only find the occasional 1 or 2 plants to pull out by the roots in early spring,

Good Luck!
Bill




Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
bill@renfarmsohio.com
www.renfarmsohio.com
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LedfordMillAlpacas

6 Posts

Posted - 04/28/2016 :  6:21:52 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We have approximately 4 to 5 acres of pasture to maintain. I've been cutting it at about 4" to try and keep the weeds in check.

We have a lot of buttercup weed and another weed I've heard the locals call wild carrot. Also the occasional thistle here and there. Thistles get a spray of Round-up 365 which seems to work well.

I've read on a Facebook alpaca page that some use a mixture of 20% white vinegar and water, I'm wonder if that is the strength of the vinegar or the percentage of vinegar to water? Typically white vinegar is rated at 5% acidity.

Ledford Mill Alpacas
Deb & Hal Corum
3715 Ledford Mill Road
Wartrace, TN
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renfarms

469 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2016 :  09:52:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Deb & Hal,
Use either 10% or 20% white vinegar, and use it at full strength. You can find it on Amazon and other places online, and may even find it at a local garden center. This strength of acid (vinegar is acetic acid) can cause irritation/mild burns to your skin, nasal passages, eyes, etc., so it is important to wear rubber gloves, goggles, and perhaps a mask, when administering it. It also means that you need to thoroughly wash out your spray container with clear water and baking soda and a final rinse with clear water when you are done, as it can corrode the various parts in your pump container. Rather than using a small spray bottle, a larger spay pump container with a strap to sling on your shoulder and long hose and trigger mechanism will save your back from too much bending, and keeps the whole process more ergonomic, which will make it far less onerous of a task. The problem with using vinegar is that It needs to be applied on a dry, sunny day with no rain predicted for at least 24 hours, and you will need to keep the 'pacas off the pasture for about that same time frame.

Buttercups can cause problems, but wild carrot won't. Here's the deal, though - wild carrot can closely resemble poisonous hemlock, so get yourself a good plant guide and nail down that identification.

Bill

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
bill@renfarmsohio.com
www.renfarmsohio.com
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LedfordMillAlpacas

6 Posts

Posted - 04/29/2016 :  11:45:19 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I found some information about using vinegar for weed control on a horticultural site. It stated it will kill all plants it is applied to.

I would like to have something that only kills the weeds and can be sprayed or broadcast. I've been mowing on a weekly basis, but it seems that is not working very well. Due to the large area I'm unable to manually root out or torch the weeds.

Thanks for your advice so far.

Ledford Mill Alpacas
Deb & Hal Corum
3715 Ledford Mill Road
Wartrace, TN
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renfarms

469 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2016 :  12:48:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hal,
The only time I've ever used a broadcast weed killer was when we first established our pastures 12 years ago. Used Round-up to kill off weeds, fescue and rye grasses. The broadleaf weeds are easiest to kill with it, and grasses are among the most difficult. After everything died back I then disc'ed everything multiple times, Only then, after several rains and a couple of weeks, did I re-seed with our pasture mix. Since then, we have maintained it by keeping it grazed/mowed down to 6 inches, and hand-pulling any opportunistic weeds, or spot spraying them with vinegar. Using soil amendments, and having a healthy soil ph can be key to keeping the fields more grass-friendly and making it hard for weeds to get re-established.
Regards,
Bill

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
bill@renfarmsohio.com
www.renfarmsohio.com
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LedfordMillAlpacas

6 Posts

Posted - 04/30/2016 :  4:26:12 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Bill; I really appreciate your advice.

I went out today and lowered the finishing mower on my tractor as low as it would go; approximately 2 - 3".

I noticed after I had mowed that it looks like the seed I had sewed a few weeks ago might be starting to come up. That's a big relief. I was worried I had lost the year's crop of grass. Grass seed is very expensive.

I also found out that I might be allergic to Buttercup pollen. The deck on my mower is usually black in color. Now it looks as though it has been painted bright yellow. My eyes started to burn and my sinuses were burning. A couple of Benadryl later I was able to finish mowing before it rains.

Hal C.

Ledford Mill Alpacas
Deb & Hal Corum
3715 Ledford Mill Road
Wartrace, TN

Edited by - LedfordMillAlpacas on 04/30/2016 7:43:57 PM
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renfarms

469 Posts

Posted - 05/01/2016 :  2:10:32 PM  Show Profile  Visit renfarms's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hal,
Glad to see here and on Facebook that your seed survived and grew!
Sorry to hear of your reaction to the buttercups. Wish they weren't toxic to the 'pacas as they are pretty. By the way, we encourage dandelions to grow in our pastures. They are healthy for the alpacas, and most of them love to eat them. They are also important in the spring for the bees, as they are one of the season's first flowers they can feed on.
Best of luck!
Bill

Bill and Louise Goebel
Renaissance Farms
McArthur, Ohio 45651
(740) 596-1468
bill@renfarmsohio.com
www.renfarmsohio.com
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