Noxious Weed Control in pastures is becoming more of a challenge. A lot of commercial spray businesses are no longer spraying pastures. If they are, there may be restrictions on the time they will spray, what products they will spray or they may only spray if they also have all of the rest of your spraying business. These restrictions are making spraying pastures more difficult and limited. It is still the law, however, to control noxious weeds. Not being able to find a sprayer is not a valid reason not to spray though.
Spring Spraying Considerations
With the warm temperatures this spring pasture spraying will be starting real soon for biennial thistle and wormwood sage. Canada thistle is still real small as of mid-April, the same goes for spurge, however watch closely as we are still about three weeks ahead of normal this season.
So now, before we get into the heart of pasture spraying, if you need to get a sprayer that will do pastures, now is the time to be looking into it. There are some boomless sprayers that are in the market that can work real well. Most of these sprayers use more water per acre than other sprayers; they also do not work well under windy conditions.
Private Pesticide Applicator Certification
If you have not sprayed in the past you will need to take a test to get your Private Pesticide Applicator card to allow you to spray. Now, anyone who has a farm that has the potential to gross more than 1000 dollars of income from their farm is required to have this certification to apply any pesticide to their property, whether or not they are restricted use pesticides. If they are applying restricted use pesticides they also need to keep records of those pesticides for two years after they are sprayed. They also need to have an emergency response plan developed for their farm if they are spraying. Help with all of these requirements can be obtained at the SDSU Extension Regional Centers.