NDSU Extension - Burke County


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Non Crop Weed Control

County Agent News
Dan Folske
June 5, 2017

Non Crop Weed Control

            Weed control in non crop areas including wetlands, pastures, rangeland, farm yards and road ditches can be confusing. You may want total vegetation control on sites like oil well, gravel driveways, around fuel tanks and next to buildings or you may be 

Canadian Thistle

looking for selective broadleaf or grass control. 

            Methods of control may include mechanical like mowing, clipping, or cultivating; biological like grazing or using insects, or even spreading diseases or fungi; or chemical with herbicides.

            Total vegetation control can be short term or long term. Choice of herbicides also depends on whether the ground is currently bare or if there is vegetation present. If vegetation is present, is it grasses, broadleaf, or woody. Generally if vegetation is present you need to use something like glyphosate or Liberty to kill the current growth followed by a preemergence application of a long residual herbicide like bromacil (Hyvar), or prometon (Pramitol). Hyvar and Pramitol can be applied post emergence but it is hard to get good long term control if the current growth is tall and thick.



            In areas like road ditches, wetlands, pastures and rangeland you will want to use selective herbicides. Your choice of herbicides will depend on the weeds you are after. As in crops, annual weeds are relatively easy to kill, perennials are much harder. Noxious perennial weeds like Leafy Spurge, Canada Thistle, and Absinth Wormwood need to be controlled prior to seed set but fall herbicide applications are most effective. Clipping or applying a relatively inexpensive application of 2,4-D or dicamba in early June followed by picloram or imazapic in the fall is a good choice for Leafy Spurge. Milestone or another product containing aminopyralid is a great choice for Canada Thistle or Absinth Wormwood.

            Non chemical control can be either mechanical or biological. Mechanical treatments will need regular repetition. Biological control using insects can be effective but may not work in all areas and are often cyclic in nature. The weeds will seem to be under control for a few years and then return when the insect populations fall.




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