Proposed by: Stephen F.Enloe

Presenter: Enloe, S. F., Extension Specialist, Alabama Cooperative Extension System, Auburn University, AL 36849

Hairy buttercup is an aggressive winter annual weed found throughout Southeastern US pastures. Its rapid spring growth and ability to completely dominate pastures have made it a serious concern in cool season forage production. There are currently few published studies that have examined its control. Furthermore, a lack of herbicide selectivity is frequently an issue when broadleaf weed control is needed in mixed grass-legume pastures. To address this problem, we tested low rates of several herbicides including 2,4-D, imazethapyr, hexazinone, and aminopyralid + 2,4-D at December and February application timings for hairy buttercup control and white clover tolerance in pastures. Dimethylamine, diethanolamine, and ester formulations of 2,4-D controlled hairy buttercup at very low rates and did not reduce spring white clover cover. Imazethapyr was also effective in controlling hairy buttercup with no clover injury but hexazinone did not control hairy buttercup and also resulted in a considerable reduction in white clover. Aminopyralid + 2,4-D provided excellent hairy buttercup control but completely eliminated white clover cover. In general, effective herbicide treatments worked at both application timings. These studies indicate that hairy buttercup can be controlled in mixed white clover/grass pastures with multiple herbicide options without damaging white clover populations. These results have been widely disseminated to over 12,000 producers through Alabama Cooperative Extension Presentations and Alabama Cattleman magazine articles.

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