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Controlling sericea lespedeza

Kansas

As musk thistle reaches maturity, you've likely got it under control. Now, you can turn your attention to sericea lespedeza.

Sericea has become a major problem in some of our grass stands and CRP. Left unchecked, it can become a real detriment to pasture health. While control isn't simple, you do have some pretty decent options.

While there are no biological control agents for sericea, grazing is an option. Goats actually do a pretty decent job of grazing heavily enough to eliminate seed production. At a grazing level of four to five goats per acre of sericea, you can aid in control and get a marketable product all at the same time.

Mowing is also an option. Do so in mid-to late July to help reduce stands--at least to some extent. Research with continued mowing doesn't indicate sericea elimination, though, even after several years of mowing.

Chemical control has been popular and effective as well. Products like Remedy Ultra (triclopyr) and PastureGard (triclopyr + fluroxypyr) can provide effective control when applied during June and into early July when the sericea plants are in a vegetative growth stage. Broadcast applications of Remedy Ultra at 1 to 1.5 pints/acre and PastureGard at 2 pints/acre should be applied in spray volumes of 10 to 20 gallons/acre. If you miss that window, try products containing metsulfuron, such as Escort XP and Cimarron Plus. They tend to be more effective in late summer when sericea lespedeza is actively blooming. Use 0.5 oz/acre of Escort XP and 0.625 oz/acre Cimarron Plus. Spot spraying options are also available. Herbicide treatments will need to be repeated on a two to four year cycle to keep sericea in check.

Since sericea lespedeza is a state-wide noxious weed, non-control really isn't an option. With its large seedbank, it easily reestablishes and will need to be closely monitored. Left unchecked, sericea lespedeza can take over a stand, reducing grazable acres considerably.

Millipedes

Wormlike creatures have arrived again! Basically harmless, millipedes are certainly a nuisance, with their 'invasion' likely a function of our plentiful moisture this spring.

Millipedes prefer shaded and moist environments, where they feed on decaying organic matter--leaf litter, mainly. And while they do not bite or sting, they may feed on tender garden crops. It's their mere presence this is most concerning, however. Usually showing up around daybreak on the side of buildings/driveways/sidewalks, they will 'hide' during the heat of the day, only to reappear in the evening.



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