Herbicides can help control weed problems early in the summer when plants are in their early vegetative growth stage, but a long-term solution requires further control past those early summer months.

So what can you do now in the middle of July? This is a critical period in a plant’s cycle. From mid-July to December the plants are storing nutrients for their initial growth during late winter and early spring. Proper grazing management can not only help control weeds but can provide more forage in your pastures for next year’s grazing season.

The trick is to avoid overgrazing. Leaving adequate leaf growth is critical, and mowing or grazing the grass too short removes too much leaf area from the plants. The best mowing height for hay meadows is about 4 inches. Depending on your area, cattle shouldn’t be allowed to graze down lower than 2 to 4 inches. This will help plants store nutrients for a faster start next year and stop weeds from moving in.