Beware of Feeding Herbicide Treated Hay

Harvesting ditch hay (grass and legumes growing alongside the roadways) is a common practice, especially in western Minnesota. Ditch hay provides livestock owners with forage suitable for beef cattle, dairy heifers and horses. However, in recent years, there have been several cases of significant soybean injury as a result of manure applications from livestock fed ditch hay that was treated with picloram or clopyralid. This injury has reduced grain yields, and in some cases, resulted in total yield loss. Picloram (commonly sold as Tordon, Grazon, and Pathway) and clopyralid (commonly sold as Stinger, Curtail, and Transline) are used to control unwanted broadleaf weeds on cropland, rangeland, pastures, and along roadways. These herbicides are especially popular with local, county, and state highway departments because they control hard-to-kill noxious weeds like thistles and leafy spurge but do not kill beneficial or planted roadway grasses. Recently labeled herbicides containing the active ingredient aminopyralid (commonly sold as Milestone, Milestone VM, and ForeFront R&P) are beginning to replace picloram and clopyralid in many roadside treatment programs due to increased Canada thistle control with aminopyralid. Aminopyralid is in the same herbicide family as picloram and clopyralid, and poses th

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One thought on “Beware of Feeding Herbicide Treated Hay

  1. Interesting post. I was speaking with a manager here in Australia who told me nobody bothered grazing roadsides anymore … this article perhaps explains why … stock would be eating poison. But why not halt the spraying and use the stock to control the weeds? Council saves money on spraying, and stock get feed. Cheers, David.

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