What to Do About Your Broomsedge Now

I often get calls and/or questions about Broomsedge this time of year.  Not because it is already growing, but because it is quite noticeable being an orange-brown, “stick out like a sore thumb” kind of grass amongst contrasting new green growth!  Broomsedge (Andropogon virginicus) is often called poverty grass.  If you dared to take a bite of it, you might understand why livestock don’t like to eat it, especially when it is mature.  It is just poor quality.  At best, it is about half the quality of desired forages.  Paraphrasing William Albrecht (who linked soil health to human health) the plant doesn’t have enough value for a cow to trouble herself eating it.  That is a pretty true statement with a couple exceptions.  Cattle will sometimes consume a little of that mature Broomsedge along with very high protein watery forage in the early spring to help balance out their rumen.  We can overcome this issue with other means.  They will also consume it fairly well prior to early boot (seed stem elongation), but it is still far from being choice feed. Broomsedge generally gets the upper hand in the pasture because of very low phosphorus or available phosphorus levels.  It also tends to be worse on thinner, more eroded soils and for a good reason.  Low pH combined with low calcium is a better environment for this warm season perennial than any of our cool-season forages and thin eroded soils that are usually more acidic.  Low pH aggravates the phosphorus is

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