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Sneaky Pasture Weeds – Sedges and Rushes

By   /  July 21, 2014  /  3 Comments

Do you have these? Here’s how to tell!

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We’ve discussed pasture grasses, legumes, pasture weeds and management ideas for pasture improveme
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  1. Steve Nelle says:

    Some sedges and rushes are unpalatable while others are very palatable (just like grasses). True sedges (Carex) are often very palatable, productive and nutrititious forages and they often occur along creeks and river bottom areas or around the perimeter of ponds. Also, it is common for true sedges to green up much earlier than grasses and stay green after frost.

    Within this large generic group of sedes and rushes includes many plants that the astute manager / grazier should become familiar with. These include: spikerush, bulrush, flat sedge, true sedge, true rush, and many others. In some cases, riparian or wetland pastures may require special management in order to get best use of these.

  2. So are these weeds cows can learn to eat? I saw my cows eating yellow nutsedge one wet spring when it was the first thing to emerge in that pasture. Do we know anything about the nutritional value and/or toxicity of reeds and nutsedge?

    • Kathy Voth says:

      The biggest problem with these plants is that they are often not very high in nutritional value. Animals can learn to eat them, though I would probably teach them to eat something else first that is higher in value. My experience is that once animals have started experimenting with foods, they will readily add a bit of everything in the pasture, even things low in nutritional value.

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