These weeds are fairly easy to control if they are sprayed with a herbicide at the correct time. We normally treat these weeds in the mid-March to early April time frame. At that time, many people don’t realize the weeds are present unless they check their pastures closely.
Presently, these weeds are young and only a couple of inches tall, which make them easier to control. We usually don’t get many calls about this weed until it starts blooming. Although some herbicides will still kill the weed at that point, it is not very effective since seeds have already been produced for next year’s buttercups.
The broadleaf herbicide 2,4-D usually works well on buttercups. When using any pesticide, always read and follow the label’s instructions and safety precautions. Using 2,4-D or other broadleaf weed killers can injure or kill clovers and other broadleaf forages, so use caution if you have those in your pasture.
Left uncontrolled, buttercups can crowd-out your pasture grasses and use a lot of the available fertilizer and moisture. With today’s fertilizer prices, we need to make sure it is being used by pasture grasses and not weeds.
If you have any questions or concerns about controlling buttercups or need help calibrating your spray rig, call the Walker County Extension Office at 706-638-2548.
Norman Edwards is coordinator of Walker County Extension Service.