Pasture Soil Fertility Essential to Prevent Broomsedge Infestations

Broomsedge bluestem goes by many common names; broom grass, broom sage, sage brush, etc. No matter the name it is a sign of poor soil fertility.
Broomsedge bluestem goes by many common names; broom grass, broom sage, sage brush, etc. No matter the name it is a sign of poor soil fertility.

Broomsedge bluestem, or Andropogon virginicus L. is quite conspicuous this time of year. Its tall stems are the most noticeable feature in many fields. While these tall stems blowing in the wind may look nice, what they represent in terms of soil fertility is anything but that. Broomsedge thrives in conditions that are considered poor for most desirable grass species.

Some consider broomsedge bluestem a forage species because livestock will graze green, young growth. However, as the growing season continues the grass produces its signature tall stems and seed heads, and becomes very unpalatable to livestock. That is why most producers consider it a weedy grass when it is found in improved pastures.

Broomsedge bluestem is a native grass, and as such it is quite hardy in relation to environmental factors. Broomsedge grows well in acidic soils with low levels of nutrients. It is also rather tolerant of drought conditions. These factors help to make it very persistent once it is established in a given area. This persistence is a source of frustration for pasture managers because broomsedge is difficult to get rid of once it is established.

  • There are no herbicides on the market that will control broomsedge without also killing the surrounding desirable grass species (bahia, bermuda, etc.)
  • Mowing does not provide effective control of broomsedge
  • Burning has little to no negative effect on broomsedge

Efforts to prevent broomsedge bluestem are much more productive than efforts to control it. Broomsedge is not competitive with improved forage grass species, if conditions are favorable for the improved species. From a management standpoint this means;

  • Maintain proper soil pH levels (5.5 for bahia and bermuda)
  • Apply fertilizer at the recommended rates and intervals (UF/IFAS fertilizer recommendations)
  • Utilize multiple pasture rotation to prevent overgrazing
Preventing broomsedge is preferred to trying to control it after it is established. Chemical control options are very limited. There are products on the market labeled for the control of "broom weed" ; these will not be effective. Broom weed is an entirely different plant.
Preventing broomsedge is preferred to trying to control it after it is established. Chemical control options are very limited. There are products on the market labeled for the control of “broom weed;” these will not be effective. Broom weed is an entirely different plant.

When the steps above are not taken, conditions are created that favor the growth of broomsedge allowing it to become competitive with desirable species. These conditions combined with a thin stand of desirable grass allow broomsedge seeds to find bare soil and establish/spread rapidly.

Once broomsedge is established control options are limited. If only small amounts of broomsedge are present, spot spraying with glyphosate may be an option. While glyphosate is effective, if applied to actively growing broomsedge, it will also kill the surrounding desirable grasses. This ultimately results in bare soil, which could lead to new weed problems or re-infestation by broomsedge if soil conditions have not been corrected. Complete pasture renovation may be required for serious infestations, which could include rotation to row crops for a year or two, followed by replanting of desirable grass species.

The steps to achieving long term control of broomsedge are the same as preventing it; take care of your pastures. Improving the growing conditions for desirable grasses will help them out compete the broomsedge, but it may take several growing seasons to do so. After efforts have been made to improve soil fertility, steps may be taken to reduce the vigor of the existing broomsedge. Regular grazing early in the growing season can help suppress broomsedge. This practice is more effective in areas where broomsedge is well established and livestock have little choice but to graze the broomsedge.

Contact your county extension agent for more information on broomsedge bluestem, and other steps you can take to improve your pastures and hayfields.

 

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Posted: January 16, 2015


Category: Agriculture
Tags: Broomsedge, Forage & Pasture, Panhandle Agriculture, Pasture, Pest Management, Weeds


Comments:

Matthew Orwat

April 16, 2020

Please send me an email mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew Orwat

April 16, 2020

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beekeeping-in-the-panhandle-virtual-conference-tickets-102683834112 Please register for the webinar !

Maggie Bertrand
January 11, 2020

Are there local bee keepers looking to place there hives on other people's property? I'm from North Carolina and am starting a vegetable garden and need all that help and advice I can get. Regards, Maggie

Marilyn
October 5, 2019

I will save the date for 2020. I am a home school grandma and very interested in bee keeping, not only for myself, but for my two older grandchildren whom I home school. If you know of any future bee educational events prior to 2020, please let me know. Sincerely, Mrs. Marilyn Jarmon

Matthew Orwat

December 20, 2018

Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance (LCLM - commercial) Training & Exams Date: Thursday January 17, 2018 Location: Washington County Extension Office 1424 Jackson Ave Chipley FL. 32428 Registration: Matthew Orwat, UF/IFAS Extension Washington County 850-638-6180 or mjorwat@ufl.edu Class Fee: $40/person class fee must be payed online prior to attending the class at site below, lunch will be provided https://www.eventbrite.com/e/limited-commercial-landscape-maintenance-lclm-commercial-exam-training-session-ceu-class-tickets-53195459050 Exam Fee: $150 exam fee must be payed and application completed online prior to attending the class (if testing) at https://aesecomm.freshfromflorida.com/ Make sure to apply for only one of the following licenses: Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance Personnel Please bring documentation regarding this payment If you have questions about the license application, please call 850-617-7997 or see this website https://www.freshfromflorida.com/Business-Services/Pest-Control/Licensing-and-Certification Additional items: Exam students must bring • current picture I.D. (driver’s license, i.e.) • LCLM exams only need Certificate of Insurance with a minimum aggregate of $500,000 (DACS Form 13654) http://forms.freshfromflorida.com/13654.pdf If you are testing for Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance (LCLM), you must attend all day to earn the 6 CEUs required to take this exam. Exams will be available for Limited Commercial Landscape Maintenance and for Limited Lawn & Ornamental pesticide licensing only.

Morris Collier
November 24, 2018

would very much like to know when the next class for your LCLM starts again?

Shirley Lohman’s
March 16, 2018

I appreciated your article. I am a Master Gardener in Nassau County and did a rose presentation last month. I wish I had your list then to add to my recommendations. We are trying to propagate Louis Philipe for our May sale. If you have any other information we can share with the public, it would be appreciated. Thank you.

Becca
March 15, 2018

Thanks! My favorite is my Louis Philippe. It was given to me by an old time gardener here in Pensacola. Very easy to propagate and I've never had to do anything but prune it.

DA
August 9, 2016

This is the larva of a moth of the same name, I believe. Sting is painful. No beautiful butterfly comes from this.

Matthew Orwat

June 8, 2016

Great idea, thank you for the suggestion!

Judy
June 5, 2016

Dear Matthew, The young lubbers have a habit of collectively gathering on vertical plant leaves such as iris. I find multiple groups of them in the early morning. I used to pick them off individually, but found that I could get rid of them easier with my shop vac. I once had hundreds of lubbers gathered on the stucco wall outside my potting shed. I vacuumed them all in minutes. After this, I filled the vacuum with water, waited a couple of hours and then emptied and cleaned the canister. Safe, easy and effective. Judy

Alisa Brown
May 21, 2016

Hi, Matthew ...Just curious. If moth balls are so highly toxic, illegal to use in yards or gardens, and are also not allowed in items/places of list added...just what the heck are they manufactured for, and why in God's name are they still being manufactured?? Thank you for a response, Alisa Brown

Ann Poppy
May 13, 2016

Hate those little buggers! Thanks for the info! (PS: Around this neck of the woods, they are also known as "rocket jaws". Why "rocket" I'll never know, but jaws is for sure because they've got quite a bite.)

Dana Johnson
April 24, 2016

Are you implying that a high pH can control broomsedge?

Ann Poppy
April 9, 2016

Very helpful. Good information and the pictures help us to recognize the good guys. Thanks.

Stephanie Dickens
April 8, 2016

This was a VERY useful article. I have always wanted to have info on this WITH pictures of the good bugs. Without those pictures the information isn't applicable. Thank you!

Blake Thaxton
March 22, 2016

We had to cancel the workshop but have plans to attempt to reschedule this coming fall.

Charles Meister
March 7, 2016

I am grazing 13 cows, 5 horses, 70 goats on 46 acres of sandy soil in Gainesville, Florida. I can do this by continually moving animals around to 1-2 acre pastures, all fenced in. I maintain good Bahai pasture in late spring, summer and early Fall but dormant season is a problem. Rye grass helps but I need more and have to rely on rolls of hay and square bales of perennial peanuts to keep animals satified. I am looking for FORAGE in late fall, winter and early spring. I am experimenting wih oats, chicory, daikon radish but Ryegrass seems to out perform others. CAN YOU RECOMMEND SOMETHING ELSE FOR DORMANT SEASON?

Reagan Stanley
March 7, 2016

Thank you Mark. I will share your article with my clients. I am a Realtor with Keller Williams Realty covering Lake and Sumter Counties. My wife and I live on acreage and have a couple of horses. My speciality is homes on acreage. I try to emphasize the importance of pasture management but sometimes my message does not get through.

Theo
February 26, 2016

I would like to sign up for this class. Is there still openings for March 4th?

Richard H. Ruff
November 19, 2015

I applied commercial fertilizer for 30 years in the Piedmont of VA before switching to poultry litter. If the ph is corrected DAP will eliminate broomsedge, but bio-solids works the best with poultry litter being better than DAP. Too many cattlemen think that lime will work, but P is the lacking nutrient in our red clay soils.

Jack Shaw
November 8, 2015

I like wax myrtle and have about 8 that I planted in my yard several years ago. The only draw back is that they tend to put out runners that have to periodically be cut back. Otherwise the bush would spread out over a large area.

Matthew Orwat

November 6, 2015

Possibly. They like something about that plant and wildlife are attracted to the berries.

Carole
November 6, 2015

For the last two falls my wax myrtles have been attacked by squirrels. They bite off the ends of each branch until the plant is nude. These are mature female shrubs covered with berries. Could the sap be attracting them.

Matthew Orwat

June 19, 2015

I am not aware of any issues with this fungus for children and pets. Spraying with a forceful hose end and raking should remove it.

Laura
June 18, 2015

Hi! Is it safe for children and pets to play around?

Mark Mauldin
May 19, 2015

Cogongrass is, without a doubt, hard to control. This is especially true if you are attempting to tackle a well established stand with only glyphosate. Generally speaking, a multiple year integrated approach is the best option we have. Imazapyr can be a valuable part of a control program. If you are attempting to control cogongrass around hardwoods you may encounter some issues but generally in pine stands and grazing/open lands imazapyr works well. To me, the biggest issue with imazapyr is the potential for new weed problems associated with the prolonged periods of bare ground its use can result in.

frank sedmera
May 16, 2015

This is one exotic plant that I never managed to kill out when I was still doing contracting in North Central Florida. Jackson Guard tells me that Imazypr seems to work but it kills trees well before affecting the Cogon grass

Allan Gold
May 11, 2015

Hello Mark: Thanks for your article on Cogongrass control. I just wanted to pass along that I have experienced the greatest success with controlling Cogongrass using a commercially bought herbicides consisting of 41% glyphosate. I mix the herbicide with water as instructed (normally 4oz/gallon using a spray tank) and I add a surfactant. Other attempts using lower percentages of glyphosate produced only temporary results. One application in the spring and one in the fall achieved excellent results, and for the past two years, I now monitor the area and spot spray if needed. Best regards, Allan Gold

Matt Orwat
April 20, 2015

You're Very Welcome !

Lee Berger
April 19, 2015

Hi Matthew: Thanks for this useful article. This year we had some erosion mitigation done to our front yard that included all new turf. This was an expensive, yet successful fix to a long standing problem. The new centipede is doing great, however I freaked out yesterday when I saw slime mold in a few places. With all the rain lately I figured it was a fungus. This morning there was another patch. I began thinking about anti-fungal treatments. Thanks to your article I now know that it's mostly harmless and temporary. Thank you. Lee Berger Tallahassee

Mark Mauldin
April 6, 2015

Lanny, thank you for your interest in the article. The simple answer to your question is yes; there will be competition between the perennial peanut and the aeschynomene seedlings. Generally speaking, unless soil moisture is very high aeschynomene dose not do very well when broadcast with or without competition. I also have some concerns about site selection, perennial peanut and aeschynomene generally prefer different locations. If you would like to discuss this further please email or give me a call at the office.

Lanny King
March 26, 2015

We have an established plot of perennial peanuts and are getting prepared to plant aeschynomene for our spring planting. Can we broadcast the aeschynomene over the peanuts or will they compete? Thanks

Ti8m Tucker
March 20, 2015

I have seen some of this in my clover, however did not know what it was until I saw this article. My farm is in Monroe County AL. about 75 miles North of Pensacola FL.

Matthew Orwat
November 25, 2014

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/uw070

Matthew Orwat
November 25, 2014

Hi, I saw your photo, Hard to tell from the picture, but I think it is a rat snake. They are very beneficial to keep down other problematic wildlife.

Calvin Curtis
November 24, 2014

My question is regarding fruit protection from late spring freeze??!!. I'm in the Panhandle of Florida near Pensacola. Late freeze this year wiped out my blossoms and I have "ONE" satsuma on my tree!!.. The Tree is between 7-9 years old around 10feet high

Donna Legare
November 21, 2014

excellent article - we will pass the information on to our customers Donna Legare Native Nurseries (Tallahassee)

Dmytro
November 20, 2014

Matt, do wish I could attach a photo! Had a LARGE snake which got stuck in our 2nd floor soffit! I'm sure was chasing something! Also have a closeup of it and why it think it is a rat snake.

Matthew Orwat

November 19, 2014

Rat snakes are great rat and mouse control, If they are truely rat snakes, try to keep them around !

Dmytro
November 19, 2014

Matt, Very Interesting. Thank you for sharing. I know you have a space limitation! BUT, If mothballs are problematic at best in the garden....what are the more effective ways..."to control indoor pest problems or wildlife incursions"? Starting to see a number of what looks like rat snakes!! Probably better than rats--seen them before.

Judy Barber
November 18, 2014

Thank you very much for this information and I will pass it on. It seems many people in the local area are unaware of the harmful effects of Naphthalene.

David McGeachy
October 4, 2014

Interesting article...keep up the good work. I have a small vineyard here in Clarksville, FL...less than 100 vines...with several different varieties of muscadine but mostly Black Spanish. I purchased several Noble grapevines from Esposito's in Tallahassee a couple of years ago. They didn't bare the first year, but did the year after. As it turns out one of the vines is some kind of VERY prolific and vigorous bronze grape which matures several weeks after the Nobles. Do you know of a way to identify this vine. Also, is it possible at this stage to graft a Noble onto this vine...if so when would be the best time to do this? Thanks, geach

Matthew Orwat

October 3, 2014

Unfortunately, I don't have one. Check out Bugwood.org it might.

Brook Bowman
September 30, 2014

Pleas post a photo of the butterfly that hatches from the Saddleback this will help me thank you, we find your web page interesting and helpful Brook A Bowman

Matthew Orwat

September 25, 2014

Here is a neat video about pruning grapes, along with links to more information http://trec.ifas.ufl.edu/fruitscapes/Fruitscapes-videos/grapes/pruning-grapes.shtml

Ray Davis
September 24, 2014

Thanks. How aggressively shoud I prune the vines? Any sources for pruning guidelines that you would recommend?

Matthew Orwat
September 23, 2014

Pruning late can cause winter injury, since it signals the vine to begin growth. Wait until late January to mid February to prune and you will see better results. Yes, I have been out to Byron's place several times. Thanks, Matt

Ray Davis
September 21, 2014

Matthew: Nice article. Any suggestions for pruning information after the harvest? I juiced about 60 pounds of native and new variety muscadines this summer and produced about 6 gallons of delicious juice and lots of pulp for my redworms in the vermiculture area of my compost for the farm. Do you know Byron Biddle in Vernon? He was a classmate of mine in Chipley for a time many many years ago. Visit my website www.clearcreekfarm.net for some pictures of my arbor. Thanks, Ray Davis

Matthew Orwat

August 5, 2014

Since this usually a localized disease, not causing long-term damage to landscape plants, fungicides are rarely necessary. Cultural control is usually the best option. In instances where heavy infection has been noted in the past, branded products containing active ingredients mancozeb (dithane) or chlorothalonil (daconil) that are labeled for landscape shrubs may prevent the disease when used according to label directions. It is important to use more than one type (mode of action) of fungicide to reduce the possibility of pathogen resistance, so a mancozeb / chlorothalonil rotation would work well, when daily temperatures are under 85 degrees.

Stephen Takeuchi
August 5, 2014

What are the "preventative fungicides" that you reference above? Thank you.

Doug Mayo
July 14, 2014

Cadre and Impose do have the same active ingredient, imazapic, but Cadre is not labeled for use on forages.

j ban
July 14, 2014

We have been told that Cadre herbicide is as effective as Impose on Vaseygrass. Have you found that to be a fact?

Scott Jackson
March 8, 2014

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag245 and http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ag259 provides general recommendations for herbicides that are labeled for tree removal or stump regrowth. Most homeowner herbicide products labeled with active ingredient Triclopyr have the word ”brush” or ”stump” in the trade name and are excellent choices for the cut stump treatment. You can find these products in lawn and garden section of local stores. Glyphosate herbicides are also readily available for homeowners.

Jeanne Molnar
February 26, 2014

Which specific herbicides are labeled for this uses?

elizabeth farrell
February 22, 2014

Great article! We have removed several tallows with this in mind without any sprouts. I am eager to see if yaupon responds accordingly. Thank you. Elizabeth Farrell Okaloosa County

Matthew Orwat
January 30, 2014

Great tips, especially about the ceiling fan rotation

Matthew Orwat

January 7, 2014

Hello, This is a good question. There is no hard or fast rule to determine when a tree is no longer young. If I had to pin it to a year, I would say that trees under 7 years could be considered young for the purposes of this article. Trees need the most protection when they are under 3 years old. They are also easier to protect at this age since they are smaller. From 5-7 years, if trees are vigorous and healthy, less protection is needed. At 10 years old, minimal protection is needed unless temperatures drop below the mid teens (degrees Fahrenheit). Under extremely cold conditions, freeze protection through irrigation is focused on the center of the tree to protect the inner limbs and graft union from damage. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ch182 See this article for more information on micro irrigation cold protection

BJ THRONE
January 5, 2014

I have been following all the IFAS information for several years now about my citrus, but I have never seen it answered as to what a "young" tree is. Is it a certain height, years bearing fruit, years in the ground, years after graft? How can I tell?

Matthew Orwat

October 23, 2013

Not sure on that, try it out with some larvae and find out. I don't think anyone's tried it before.

Donna Legare
October 22, 2013

excellent article - glad you are focusing on the positive attributes rather than how to prevent them from eating your herbs - We sell more parsley plants at our nursery (Native Nurseries) for caterpillars to eat than we do for people to eat. For those that want all the parsley for themselves, we recommend moving the caterpillars to rue or one of the native larval foods which we also sell.

Bob
October 22, 2013

Good article; thanks! I don't imagine that dog fennel is a host plant, right? Bob

Lou
October 17, 2013

Royal Empress Paulownia tree

Mary McKenzie
October 16, 2013

Princess Tree Paulowniaa

Jack Shaw
October 15, 2013

I think the name of the tree is Lucky Sapphire Dragon. I have several in my yard

Jack Shaw
October 15, 2013

I think the name of the tree is Lucky Sapphire Dragon. I have several of these in my yard.

Gena Buchanan
October 15, 2013

Is it catalpa?

Margo Brainerd
August 6, 2013

these are Bottlebrush seed capsules.

Margo Brainerd
August 5, 2013

Those are the Bottlebrush seed capsules and quite interesting.

Sissi
August 2, 2013

Datura will reseed, but Brugmansia will not. In fact, with the large number of hybrids around these days, if it does produce viable seed, the new plant will not likely resemble the parent. They are hardy in zone 8 and below. I have a lot of them.

Evelyn Yearty
August 2, 2013

My guess is an Angel Trumpet, but I didn't think they were classified as small trees.

Sissi
July 31, 2013

The old saying is, "Angel Trumpets (Brugmansia) blow down from heaven. Devil Trumpets (Datura) blow up from you-know-where.

Carol
July 30, 2013

This is Datura, but it is commonly know as "angel's Trumpet."

Lori
July 30, 2013

It is a Brugmansia commonly known as an angel's trumpet. Datura is also called angel's trumpet but this is a very nice brugmansia.

Nelda Seever
July 30, 2013

It is Brugmansia.

Sissi
July 30, 2013

Brugmansia - looks like Isabella

elizabeth farrell
July 30, 2013

Brugmansia... mine are tall enough not to interest the dog. No children here to be worried about either.

Pam
July 30, 2013

My grandmother always called it angels' trumpets. Love the variety of colors now available.

elizabeth farrell
July 30, 2013

Brugmansia

Sigrid Benson
July 30, 2013

Mandevilla or trumpet vine?

Rhonda Dickinson
July 30, 2013

Angel trumpet--beautiful & poisonous.

Margie hays
July 16, 2013

Karen, I like the injection technique, too. It works, but timing is everything. The svb's beat me to it this year.

Matthew Orwat

July 16, 2013

Interesting advice. I have never tried that but will give it a try

Karen
July 16, 2013

Last year I was pretty effective at curbing infection rates of the pesky svb by routinely injecting the hollow stems with liquid Bt. I picked up a large hypodermic and needle at my local feed and seed. Insulin hypodermic sizes are too small and will clog. We only have room in my church garden for a few squash bushes so they are high value. I just told the pastor not to worry if he saw me wandering around the garden with a hypodermic needle - I was just shooting up squash!

Matthew Orwat

July 16, 2013

Sharon, thank you for the informative comment and for expanding on a point I just touched on in the article. I did not know that inserting a stick to crush the grub would be effective. I learn something new every day ! Matt

Sharon
July 16, 2013

Vigilant scouting is right! Nearly every morning I examine my squash vines for new incursions by these voracious larvae. I look for the "frass," the chewed up plant that the larvae excrete, as it's hard to see the holes. They attack all parts of my squash vines, from the main stem to leaf stems to veins in the leaves, but their favorite is the flower buds. It's hard to see the hole in the base of the buds, but if I squeeze one gently and it feels soft, I can be fairly certain there is a grub in there. If it's still firm, I leave the bud on the plant. The site of the incursion is often an orange color. If it's in a leaf vein I cut out the affected part of the leaf and kill the grub, but if it's in the stem of the leaf I usually cut the whole stem back to the main stem because I don't like to leave those long hollow stems on the plant for other pests to enter and hide. If you attempt to cut a grub out of the main stem, cut lengthwise along the stem, not crosswise. When you see the larva, if you can't get it out you can simply insert a stiff twig and crush it right inside the stem. Then as suggested, bury the compromised stem in soil. If the stem has grown upright and cannot be buried, you could wrap a short length of pantyhose around the wound and tie it off. I have managed to fend off two waves of borers, and my second squash harvest is coming on now.

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