Over the past 20 years, we have seen more and more cocklebur becoming established on our farms and many farmers in the area have noted that as well. On Chris’ farm, I think it started when I fed whole shelled corn to my cattle out in the pastures to extend hay supplies in the winter. You would think this summer annual would be easy to control, but it is a challenge.
We recently finished a 5-year trial on timed mowing of pastures in the summer. A year after concluding the study, we went out to the site in September. It had not been mowed yet, and it was completely engulfed with cocklebur. No matter when or how often we mowed, after doing the same thing for five years, there was no difference.
One would think that if we went out and mowed a summer annual when the stem is elongating with immature seeds and cut below the seeds, we would kill the plant, and that still may be the case.… Continue readingRead More »