Battling with parsley dropwort

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1 month 3 days ago #559391 by gaynor
Any advice on how to deal with parsley dropwort? I am trying to improve the grazing in the paddocks I keep a couple of horses. In spring the paddocks become a sea of white with parsley dropwort and the paddocks have been like this ever since we moved on to the property. Neither cattle nor horses eat the weed. I have two pet sheep. Would they eat this weed ... although I believe it contains chemicals toxic to animals. Any advice most gratefully received! 

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1 month 3 days ago #559392 by tonybaker
I don't think it is toxic, but it is unpalatable, often confused with hemlock which is toxic. In reality the only answer is chemicals unfortunately. Can you divide paddock into smaller sizes and tackle one at a time by spraying and resowing? Grazing horses will never leave you with a good pasture as when you buy in hay it nearly always has unwanted species in it, that's how dropwort spreads! Glyphosate 360 sprayed at 4-5L/Ha by boom for cleaning out prior to pasture renewal or cropping, will also take out the parsley dropwort present.  If using Glyphosate 540 then the rate is 2.7L-3.5L/Ha. Once you have resown the paddock and divided it into smaller ones, keep the horses in one small paddock and hand feed them, leaving the other ones to grow for hay.

5 acres, Ferguson 35X and implements, Hanmay pto shredder, BMW Z3, Countax ride on mower, chooks, Dorper and Wiltshire sheep. Bosky wood burning central heating stove and radiators. Retro caravan. Growing our own food and preserving it. Small vineyard, crap wine. :)

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1 month 1 day ago #559395 by Ruth
Replied by Ruth on topic Battling with parsley dropwort
We have it everywhere. An acquaintance nearby decided to try and control it with the appropriate chemical and her pastures looked sick for a long time afterwards, the stuff came back in a couple of years and had to be done all over again. It looked to me like a great way to kill off anything good in your soil.

When I did a pasture quality workshop a few years ago it was spoken of as a herb with useful feed qualities when young. My cattle just about survive on it in early spring because when it comes up fast, it's often the primary pasture feed at the time. But you need a good number of animals to control it at all. Otherwise if you can mow the flowers down, you can return the pastures to good grass.

Outside my window the pasture is covered with a second growth of the flowers after mowing, which are all a lot shorter and less robust-looking than the first crop, so the cattle are eating amongst it reasonably easily. The first growth flower stems get so hard and woody they make grazing difficult and presumably shade the grass too.

On a neighbouring property (and on our hillsides) it gets left if not eaten and eventually the stems rot and the pastures return to their usual state.

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3 weeks 1 day ago #559431 by Stikkibeek
There are three plants that can fall into this category. In pasture and along roadsides. Parsley dropwort, has a dense crop of hair-like roots that grow little round nodules on them. Pulling this plant once the noddules have formed will leave many of these nodules behind to grow again. Carrot weed asthe next one is often called, is very similar but has finer leaves and a white taproot that is like a skinny carrot. it also has a subtle carrot smell. In it's juvenile stage of growth it is nutricious and all stock witll eat it. It's also known as Queen Anne's lace and is valued as a garden plant. neither of these are poisonous.The last one is hemlock. It grows much taller and has a distinctive smell of mouse pee. It is toxic and you need to wash hands throughly if you handle it mistakenly. When we came to live here, the pasture was riddled with carrot and Parlsely dropwprt and was no doubt brought here in contaminated hay given to the unruly mob of horses that had arrived here. We did some serious research on how to rid our pasture of these pst weeds and the best one in our opinion is baton, which is a 24D product. It will also clean up dock and buttercup. It has taken about 4 years to get rid it from our hay paddocks. You need to spray just at the start of spring when it is in rapid growth, but before the clover gets underway, as it will knock clover back just when it is needed to boost Rye. Also in Northland there is a date after which you cannot use it, due to market gardens and kiwifruit orchards that might get caught with drift. Baton is low drift and we have the spray boom set up on the back of the tractor carry-all which we set quite low to the ground. We choose a day with little wind movement, after the dew has gone off the pasture. It comes with a good manual on all safety and other advice and requirements

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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