You are here:  Home  >  From the On Pasture Library  >  Current Article

Weeds Are NOT the Problem!

By   /  May 31, 2021  /  3 Comments

    Print       Email
In the last few weeks I have attended a couple of field day, farm tour type of affairs. To my knowle
    Print       Email

About the author

My name is Don Ashford and my wife is Betty and we live in Ethel, LA. It would be impossible for me to write a bio about myself without including Betty in it. We have been together since high school. I was in the senior class of 1955 and she was in the class of 1957. Do the math. We have raised cattle since 1959 except for a little time that I spent with Uncle Sam. We have grazed stockers, owned several cow- calf herds and custom grazed cattle for other folks. I worked as a pipefitter for more than 25 years. Until we went into the dairy business in 1977 we were as most people down here part-timers or week-end ranchers. Later after we had learned enough about MIG to talk about it so that it would be understood by others we put together a pasture-walk group to introduce it to our friends and neighbors. We belong to more farm groups then we probably should but we get great joy working with other people. What makes us most proud are our son and daughter, our 5 grandkids and our 7 great-grand kids. It has been a hell of a trip so far, but we are not done yet.


  1. Susan Hagle says:

    I agree that just spraying all weeds is not a logical approach. Soil health, grazing management, plant diversity are first-line defenses. The stock eating some of the weeds has also been a great tool. But at the end of the day, there are still some weed situations that are only addressed by spraying those species for which there is not an workable alternative. Sweetbriar rose and Himalayan blackberry are two examples in our area. They have laid to waste vast acreages that had good soil, good perennial cover, and good grazing management. I taught my cattle to eat them too, but they can’t keep up with these aggressive invaders. Where mowing is not an alternative, spot spraying is a necessary tool.

  2. Dave Pratt says:

    Don, I’m curious, what was the cattle publication that quoted Dave Pratt?

  3. Gene Schriefer says:

    Here in the north central region, if we can keep 30-50% stand of clover in the sward we may pick up 3000 lbs additional forage per acre between the clover and additional grass grown as a result of the extra nitrogen.

    If we zero tolerance and hate “weeds” so much and choose to spray we also kill the clover. we pay for the herbicide and application ~$12/acre. We would expect to apply 150 units of N to grow/replace the 3000 lbs of dry matter, ~$75/acre and then we’d have lower TDN forage without the clover in the hot summer months when the grass is lower in digestibility reducing our rate of gain.

    Having clover and other legumes is win-win-win. Pasture benefits, livestock benefit, soil benefit, insects benefit. When we spray, it’s lose-lose-lose. You spend money, you lose production and livestock don’t gain as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You might also like...

What’s the Impact of Grazing Without Recovery Periods?

Read More →
Translate »