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Blackberries, dewberries, caneberries, brambles, or briars (Rubus L.) grow naturally across North America and portions of South America. There are over 375 different species of Rubus L. and it can be difficult to distinguish one species from another. Regardless of what you call them, blackberries can be very difficult to control once they encroach into pastures.
Previous recommendations for controlling blackberries have been to use herbicides in the spring when the plant is flowering. However, better control may be achieved with fall treatment.
University of Missouri Weed Scientist Kevin Bradley recently released data that suggests that fall herbicide treatment is more effective than spring treatments. Bradley’s research found that fall spraying was 36% more effective at controlling blackberries compared to spring spraying one year after spray application.
Some herbicides tested provided better control than others. Contact agronomist Sarah Kenyon to help determine which spray will work best for your weed-forage combination.
Always remember to read the label of any herbicide you apply for proper application instructions.
Herbicides work best when soil moisture is adequate. The majority of our area has received rainfall recently, although some locations still remain dry. If the area that you are spraying is dry you may want to consider waiting before spraying to achieve better control.
Pasture producers may also consider performing a soil test on field containing blackberries. Blackberries can be an indicator of poor soil fertility; however, correcting the fertility problem usually does not eliminate the blackberry problem, chemical or mechanical control are usually needed. Correcting poor soil fertility will allow the desirable forages to compete with weed seeds which will decrease weed germination.
Additionally, improved forage fertility will increase the quality of the forage offered to livestock.
For more information contact Regional Agronomy Specialist Sarah Kenyon at 417-778-7490 or email@example.com.