Pastures and Spray Rates

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To help combat weedy pastures farmers often rely on pesticides. Pesticides have proven to be an effective tool in pasture management. However, pesticides are not always economical if the proper rate is not followed or the sprayer isn’t calibrated.

Why should you calibrate your sprayer? The answer is simple – to ensure the rate of pesticide you are planning on using is what is coming from the nozzle. It is against the label to use more than the recommended rate and it’s expensive. There is a step by step calibration sheet at the end of this article to assist you while you calibrate prior to spraying. It is a simple process to complete and is available here for Backpack or Boom sprayers. If you need assistance please call the Cooperative Extension Office.

How much pesticide do you add to your sprayer? Labels can be difficult to read and interpret. Don’t let this stop you from reading and understanding the label before application. It is a very important step and is required by law. Applying more pesticide than recommended is an expensive practice and is illegal. The flip side of that is applying less pesticide than specified. This is not a recommended practice without consulting an Extension Agent because less than recommended doses can cause herbicide resistance in weeds.

Commonly used herbicides in livestock pastures in Ashe County include:

  • Grazon Next HL (2,4-D + Aminopyralid)
  • Remedy       (Triclopyr)
  • Crossbow       (2,4-D + Triclopyr)
  • Cimarron Plus (Metsulfuron + Chlorsulfuron)
  • Cimarron Max (2,4-D + Metsulfuron + Dicamba)

The labels typically discuss Gallons per Acre (GPA) and how many ounces/pints per acre. The calibration sheet provided with this article will help in determining how many gallons per acre your sprayer will provide. This will make determining how much pesticide to apply to your sprayer much easier once you have this information. Take the time to read the label and calibrate your sprayer so that you can be successful in controlling weeds this season. Rainy days make a great time to get started on understanding the label and practicing calibrating your sprayer so you can take full advantage of those sunny days! Call the Cooperative Extension Office if you have any questions regarding pesticides or calibrating your sprayer.

Backpack Sprayer CalibrationBackpack sprayer

Boom Sprayer CalibrationBoom sprayer

Written By

Micah Orfield, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionMicah OrfieldExtension Agent, Agriculture - Livestock Call Micah E-mail Micah N.C. Cooperative Extension, Ashe County Center
Updated on Apr 22, 2020
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