Florida pastures can hold a diverse assortment of plant life. Some weeds are harmless and can even serve as grazing fodder for livestock, offering diversity in the diet. However, some weeds do nothing but waste pasture space, much to the chagrin of producers. Spiderwort is a weed that is joining the ranks of smutgrass and others as troublesome weeds in Florida pastures.
Found mainly in north Florida pastures, though it can be found in southern pastures too, spiderwort is a clumping weed that features distinct purple flowers in clumps atop stalks. There is no stage of the plant’s life cycle that is palatable to cattle. Additionally, spiderwort adds too much moisture if baled along with hay, causing the hay to rot in the bale.
Spiderwort is not an invasive species. However, the weed’s presence in pastures and feedlots has become so common that producers are looking for ways to keep the weed from disrupting hay production and grazing. UF/IFAS professors Brent Sellers and Jason Ferrell, and biological scientist Michael Durham have co-written an Extension document about controlling spiderwort.
Highlights of the document include:
- Spiderwort features a large root crown that the weed uses as reserves to grow again after canopy burndown, making it hard to control.
- Pulling the weed by hand is the best method for total control, though an obviously undesirable solution.
- The best weed controlled was achieved when triclopyr was applied at 32 fl oz/acre.
- Spiderwort was controlled for four to six weeks after herbicide applications. The researchers recommended this window was the optimum time to harvest hay.
Spiderwort was controlled for four to six weeks after herbicide applications. The researchers recommended this window was the optimum time to harvest hay.
Griffin Fertilizer is committed to helping both growers and ranchers make sound agronomic and economic decisions in order to maximize the health of their grove and pasture. As a full-service custom dry & liquid fertilizer blender and crop protection product distributor, we will continue our mission to further advance Florida agriculture.
For questions or concerns about your farm or pasture, contact us and one of our team will be in touch.