Investigations of the forage nutritive value of common weeds encountered in Missouri pastures and their relationships with soil fertility
Metadata[+] Show full item record
During the 2015, 2016, and 2017 growing seasons, a survey of 63 pastures in Missouri was conducted to determine the effects of selected soil and forage parameters on the density of common annual, biennial, and perennial weed species. Permanent sampling areas were established in each pasture at a frequency of one representative 20- m2 area per 4 ha of pasture and weed species and density in each area was determined at 14-day intervals from a period from mid-April until late September. The parameters evaluated included soil pH, phosphorous (P), potassium (K), magnesium (Mg), calcium (C), sulfur (S), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn), and copper (Cu) concentration, as well as tall fescue density, forage ground cover density, and stocking rate. An increase of one unit in soil pH was associated with 146 fewer weeds per hectare, the largest reduction in weed density in response to any soil parameter. Common ragweed, a widespread weed of pastures, could be reduced by 3,056 weeds per hectare when soil pH was one unit greater. Additionally, weed and weed-free mixed tall fescue and legume forage samples were harvested from 29 of the surveyed pastures in order to investigate the nutritive value of 20 common pasture weed species throughout the season. Sample collections occurred at 14-day intervals coinciding with the survey during each growing season. At certain times during the growing season many broadleaf weed species had greater nutritive values for a given quality parameter as compared to the available weed-free, mixed tall fescue and legume forage harvested from the same location.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.