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The points of contact between Rutgers Cooperative Extension Service and the grower & business communities are the NJ County Agricultural Agents. The agents are a tremendous source of information for both new and experienced growers.
Visit your local county extension office.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Weed Control and Your Reputation in the Hay business

Many of us who produce hay have horse owners and small livestock owners as our primary clientele. One of my fellow county agents shared a recent experience with me about having curly dock present within a load of hay he received. There was enough curly dock to make a wreath. This served as a good reminder that it is important to pay attention to weed control within our hay fields. It does not take too many loads of bad hay, before your customers will disappear and seek hay elsewhere. You don't want the reputation of producing poor quality hay or worse yet being responsible for someone's livestock dieing. Broadleaf weed control in hay fields is not that difficult -- 2,4-D and dicamba are old standards that still work.  The University of Delaware Pasture and Hay Weed Management Guide is a good resource for weed control recommendations. If you spray for weed control just remember to follow any grazing and haying restrictions on the label.

Bill Bamka

Curly dock removed from hay bales