johnsongrass summer advice

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johnsongrass summer advice

Postby pdubdo » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:21 am

Finally got my 1st 4 heifers on a 55 acre pasture. Maybe up to 10% of my grass is big stands of 5-6 ft high johnsongrass. There is no way my few cows are going to eat all of it this summer. I'm in southern Oklahoma. I've read lots of articles that say, "drought/freeze stress creates more toxicity/keep you cattle away from it during these times". But the only way I can keep my cows out of this grass is to pen them up and feed them hay. Here are my questions:
1. How much drought stress is "stress"--is 2 weeks of no rain gonna kill my cows? or is it when the grass starts turning brown from drought/heat?

2. I guess I need to start gradually killing off this grass (I can't just plow or spray, reseed and start over). Would you begin repeated mowing the stands this summer? Wait till Fall to attack it? Spot spray (which can cause plant stress)? Sell the cows and work on better grass, then re-buy?

3. For all the johnsongrass that's around, I don't hear about cattle dying off by the hundreds...how much concern/worry do I need to have about all this?

I know it's lots of questions-appreciate input on any one of these!
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:29 am

I'd mow the stands of Johnson grass and let them graze as they please.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby jehosofat » Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:29 am

Couple of things, Johnson grass is hard to kill out, cows love it. I have read all the stories about it, but have never personally known of a case locally where cows died eating Johnson grass. I would consult my local extension agent. Hope this helps.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby callmefence » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:06 pm

Noble foundation calls Johnson grass the best cow food there is...maybe not in those words.
Purasic acid does not form in stressed grass. Nitrates can but usually only under heavy fertilizer and stress. Purasic acid forms in grass recovering from stress. Grass can be very drought stressed and be perfectly safe. The danger period is when you finally get the rain. You need to pull them for about 2 weeks. A frost that kills it dead is of no worries. And jg stockpile s well. A light frost is probably the most dangerous situation. If the grass strarts to regrowth after a light frost. Your probably not going to get two weeks before another.
So either kill it with Roundup, wait two weeks after your killing frost or plow it in.
Mowing it will only cause stress.
A flowering seed head, a boot, flagleafs are all signs of a healthy actively growing plant.
Cows eat Johnson grass before anything else. I bet they finish it up.
Many large animal vets do pa forage test. Check around...for PA you have to pull you sample and haul azz with it.

Please do your own research. But it's really nothing to be afraid of.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby Brute 23 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 12:06 pm

When we graze JG I let them eat the leaves off then shred the stalks if there are any left. After that they will keep it mowed at ground level. It will be the first thing they hit with the slightest bit of growth.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby pdubdo » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:23 pm

this is easing my concern-thanks!
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:25 pm

I was never afraid of it until last summer when I lost one of my good cows to it. There was only two small stands, and we had just moved them to that section of grass not an hour before I found her dead, laying right behind a stand of JG. She was only 5 years old, in great health, nursing a 4 month old calf and bred back 90 days (AI). So this year I am in an all out war against it. We bought a weed wiper that I am using, just used it for the first time a few days ago on the pasture they are moving into next. I need to go check, but I hope it took it all out without damaging the good clover and fescue underneath.
Here is a pic of her dead, behind one of the stands in that section of grass.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby callmefence » Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:00 pm

Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:I was never afraid of it until last summer when I lost one of my good cows to it. There was only two small stands, and we had just moved them to that section of grass not an hour before I found her dead, laying right behind a stand of JG. She was only 5 years old, in great health, nursing a 4 month old calf and bred back 90 days (AI). So this year I am in an all out war against it. We bought a weed wiper that I am using, just used it for the first time a few days ago on the pasture they are moving into next. I need to go check, but I hope it took it all out without damaging the good clover and fescue underneath.
Here is a pic of her dead, behind one of the stands in that section of grass.
Image


I hate that. Are you sure it was Johnson grass?? P acid or nitrate?? what were the conditions. The grass in the foreground looks to be regrowth from a plant either damaged by herbicide or very extreme drought.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby wbvs58 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:27 pm

Most plant poisonings occur when hungry livestock are put onto new pasture. Continuous grazing rarely causes problems especially when there is plenty of variety, probably explains why neighbours don't seem to have problems, they probably don't even think about it.

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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby Brute 23 » Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:36 pm

Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:I was never afraid of it until last summer when I lost one of my good cows to it. There was only two small stands, and we had just moved them to that section of grass not an hour before I found her dead, laying right behind a stand of JG. She was only 5 years old, in great health, nursing a 4 month old calf and bred back 90 days (AI). So this year I am in an all out war against it. We bought a weed wiper that I am using, just used it for the first time a few days ago on the pasture they are moving into next. I need to go check, but I hope it took it all out without damaging the good clover and fescue underneath.
Here is a pic of her dead, behind one of the stands in that section of grass.
Image


Not saying it wasn't JG... but I had a cow that looked just like that laying in the grass this year. No JG in sight. Some times they just kick it.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby Fire Sweep Ranch » Fri Jun 08, 2018 6:49 am

Brute 23 wrote:
Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:I was never afraid of it until last summer when I lost one of my good cows to it. There was only two small stands, and we had just moved them to that section of grass not an hour before I found her dead, laying right behind a stand of JG. She was only 5 years old, in great health, nursing a 4 month old calf and bred back 90 days (AI). So this year I am in an all out war against it. We bought a weed wiper that I am using, just used it for the first time a few days ago on the pasture they are moving into next. I need to go check, but I hope it took it all out without damaging the good clover and fescue underneath.
Here is a pic of her dead, behind one of the stands in that section of grass.
Image


Not saying it wasn't JG... but I had a cow that looked just like that laying in the grass this year. No JG in sight. Some times they just kick it.


Vet looked at her and said it was likely the JG. There is no good test for JG death, other than pulling fluid from the eyeball. I did not want to incur more expense, since she was dead. The rest of that year I just went ahead of the cows with the brush hog and knocked down all the stands before they moved in. Our patches have gone from a few blades here and there to all over! That happened over the summer last year, when we were shy on rain and everything was drying up. We had not fertilized, and that was the second time we were grazing that section for that season.
We shall see how the weed wiper works... it will be worth the expense if it takes out all of the JG, but that might take a few years.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby greybeard » Fri Jun 08, 2018 7:41 am

good luck with the wiper...jg can be difficult to kill off with herbicide.

I used to worry about it too, till I followed dun's advice and let the cows eat it to the ground as soon as it shows up and soon enough, it was all gone.
We used to feed a LOT of jg hay back when the state and the powerline/pipelines used to let it grow on their ROWs and let people bale it.

Maybe it got into the elec fence and the shock gave it a heart attack???
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby Rafter S » Fri Jun 08, 2018 1:14 pm

Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:
Brute 23 wrote:
Fire Sweep Ranch wrote:I was never afraid of it until last summer when I lost one of my good cows to it. There was only two small stands, and we had just moved them to that section of grass not an hour before I found her dead, laying right behind a stand of JG. She was only 5 years old, in great health, nursing a 4 month old calf and bred back 90 days (AI). So this year I am in an all out war against it. We bought a weed wiper that I am using, just used it for the first time a few days ago on the pasture they are moving into next. I need to go check, but I hope it took it all out without damaging the good clover and fescue underneath.
Here is a pic of her dead, behind one of the stands in that section of grass.
Image


Not saying it wasn't JG... but I had a cow that looked just like that laying in the grass this year. No JG in sight. Some times they just kick it.


Vet looked at her and said it was likely the JG. There is no good test for JG death, other than pulling fluid from the eyeball. I did not want to incur more expense, since she was dead. The rest of that year I just went ahead of the cows with the brush hog and knocked down all the stands before they moved in. Our patches have gone from a few blades here and there to all over! That happened over the summer last year, when we were shy on rain and everything was drying up. We had not fertilized, and that was the second time we were grazing that section for that season.
We shall see how the weed wiper works... it will be worth the expense if it takes out all of the JG, but that might take a few years.


I've heard since I was a little boy that the best way to make Johnsongrass grow is to act like you're trying to kill it. If you really want to make it spread try plowing it, or discing it up.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby Brute 23 » Fri Jun 08, 2018 2:14 pm

We have killed JG out of bermuda hay fields with Pastora.
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Re: johnsongrass summer advice

Postby callmefence » Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:08 pm

Brute 23 wrote:We have killed JG out of bermuda hay fields with Pastora.


You left that deadly Bermuda grass.. ;-)


https://www.twincities.com/2012/06/30/t ... uda-grass/
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