Noxious Weed Control in pastures is becoming more of a challenge. Many commercial spray businesses are no longer spraying pastures, and if they are, there may be restrictions on the time and products they will spray, or they may only work with you if they also have the rest of your spraying business. However, it is still the law to control noxious weeds. Not being able to find a commercial applicator is not a valid reason to not control noxious weeds.
With the warm temperatures this spring, pasture spraying will be starting very soon for biennial thistle and wormwood sage. Canada thistle and spurge are both still very small, but watch closely as we are still about three weeks ahead of normal.
Before we get into the heart of pasture spraying, if you need to get sprayer equipment that will do pastures now is the time to be looking into it. There are some boomless sprayers on the market that can work well. Most of them take more water per acre than other sprayers and they do not work well with any windy conditions.
Be advised that 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. The exam can be taken online at the South Dakota Department of Agriculture Private Web Training website or picked up at any SDSU Extension Regional Center and most SDSU Extension County Offices.