Page 4 - Sep302021
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The Midwest Cattleman · September 30, 2021 · P4

                                         bit, the ragweed dried
                                         out sooner and cows
                                         weren't having it.
                                            And it is not just
                                         the ragweed.  Weeds of
                                         all kinds became part
                                         of their diet with that
                                         added grazing pres-
                                         sure.   We put about
                                         50 pair on an acre and
                                         a half - sometimes 2
                                         acres every morning
                                         and they stay there
         I love this time of year –      for about 24 hours. Of
      cool mornings, warm after-         course,  we  can  move
      noons, and there is often a        sooner,  or  later  based
      breeze.                            on the forage.
         Thankfully we've had               In this pasture, we
      plenty of rain recently in         start the cattle right
      west central Missouri.  The        down next to the water.
      leaves will soon be turning        The pond is fenced so
      and falling. Halloween, deer       they  can  only  water
      season  and Thanksgiving           in one location where
      will be here soon - all im-        there's a gravel base,             surprised to see that, early  it, even in September, which
      portant events when you            and they can't walk out into       on, they were eating almost  is amazing to me.  With this
      have grandchildren.                the pond very far.   Each day      the entire cocklebur plant.   grazing pressure, mouths go
         It's also that time of year     we pull a fence and then           Thankfully, as the burs  down in the grass, legume,
      when ragweed makes it un-          place it behind another, so        dry and harden, they leave  weed mix and they eat
      bearable for many.   This          it becomes the fence we use        those alone.  Cocklebur tox- what's there because if they
      season, we’re trying to turn       tomorrow.  It's like walking       icosis can result from inges- don't the cow standing next
      that around on the ragweed.        up stairs. The entire process      tion of young two-leaf seed- to them will!  It's a competi-
      Moving cattle this morning         takes about twenty minutes.        lings.  The toxic substance,  tion.
      to a new section of grass, I       Every animal walks right by        carboxyatractyloside, is also        For some reason this set
      noticed  that  they  had  real-    me so if there is a problem, I     present in the seeds.   This  of cattle are hard to drive. I
      ly been eating the ragweed         see it early.  We move away        toxicity disappears by the  guess they have just never
      down to nothing. Cattle can        from water each day until          4-leaf stage and is not pres- been driven much but I can
      eat just about anything in         that entire pasture is done.       ent in the mature plant.          lead them anywhere walk-
      the pasture if they have           This system certainly will             I'm sure those burs will  ing with a reel of polywire
      proper motivation which is         not work everywhere, but it        go on to mature if allowed to  in  my  hand.   If  I’m  on  foot
      tied to stocking rate, and         works here for us.                 grow there but in this sys- with a reel in my hand, to
      there has to be adequate              The ragweed is not the          tem the plants really stand  them that means new, fresh
      moisture.   In many plac-          only casualty.  With this kind     out and are easy to find with  forage is ahead. I think it
      es, you really can't tell the      of grazing pressure, cat-          a hoe or a shovel.  We try to  works even better than a
      ragweed had been there at          tle have learned to eat just       make sure those burs end  bag of feed.
      all – and this is almost Oc-       about everything in the pas-       up in a dumpster or fire, so
      tober!   On the other hand,        ture.  Once they’ve moved          they're not allowed to seed  KwC
      on drier places, or where          on, it’s really easy to see        back.  We used to fight John-
      soil has been compacted a          and deal with the occasional       son grass but
                                         rogue rosebush.  I was also
                                                                            now, as long
                                                                            as there hasn't
                                                                            been a frost,
                                                                            it's not a prob-
                                                                            lem.  In this
                                                                            system it never
                                                                            disappears but
                                                                            it is well under
                                                                              In one field
                                                                            we have quite
                                                                            a bit of Sericea
                                                                            Lespedeza. It
                                                                            has been there
                                                                            for years.  In
                                                                            this system it
                                                                            is not spread-
                                                                            ing, and it is
                                                                            not a problem.
                                                                            They eat all of
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