A Prickly Situation: Keep’n you Clover
The control recommendation itself is simple, but the picture shows a more complex situation. John dug up clover in the same shovel full of dirt as the thistle, and I know he’s worked hard to get clover in his pastures to fix nitrogen and improve forage quality for his cattle. The bad news is he’ll have to kill his clover to kill his thistle, and I hate to tell him that. I’m a clover advocate as well, but the thistles will rob water and nutrients from the clover and make grazing difficult for the cattle (would you stick your tongue into that plant just to get the clover?)
I’ll recommend he spot spray the thistle if the pasture isn’t over run with thistle. That’ll allow him to keep some of his clover.
Making pasture management recommendations doesn’t just come from the book. You have to know your clients and understand their goals.
This article was written by:
Livestock and Natural Resources Agent
Jefferson County Extension Service