Rushville Republican

Agriculture

April 22, 2013

Livestock producers should watch for, control poison hemlock

RUSHVILLE — (Purdue Agriculture photo/Travis Legleiter)

Poison hemlock is toxic when ingested by livestock. Purdue Extension experts urge producers to monitor their pastures and kill the weeds as early in the life cycle as possible.

Livestock producers should watch for, control poison hemlock

While poison hemlock isn’t likely to be as prominent a problem this year as it was in last year’s drought-stressed pastures, Purdue Extension specialists still encourage livestock producers to be on the lookout for the toxic plant.

Poison hemlock is often found along roadsides, edges of cultivated fields, stream banks and pasture fencerows. Its most defining characteristics are purple spots or blotches on the plant’s hairless, ridged stems. If eaten, all parts of the plant can be fatally toxic to cattle, horses, swine, sheep and goats.

“If there is adequate pasture growth, poison hemlock isn’t as big a deal because animals typically won’t eat it unless it’s all they have, but livestock producers still need to be on the lookout for it and think about how to control it,” said Ron Lemenager, Purdue Extension beef specialist. “They also need to be especially cautious when making hay.”

Control methods are most effective when applied at an early plant growth stage, said Travis Legleiter, Purdue Extension weed scientist.

“Farmers need to look for it before it’s bolted, or flowered, when it’s low-growing,” he said.

Poison hemlock has a two-year life cycle, and herbicides work best when applied early in the first year of growth, when plants are newly emerged.

The most common herbicides used to control the weed in pastures are growth regulators, such as 2,4-D, dicamba or a combination of 2,4-D and tryclopyr, said Bill Johnson, Purdue Extension weed scientist.

“What producers have to remember is that most pastures are mixes of grasses and legumes and these pesticides will damage legumes,” he said. “Most of the time we have to sacrifice the legumes to control the poison hemlock, then come back and reseed the legumes.”

Animals that ingest poison hemlock will start to show symptoms within an hour. Symptoms start with nervousness and can progress to respiratory paralysis within two to three hours. If pregnant animals consume the plant between days 55-75 of gestation it could result in birth defects.

Treatment is available for poisoned animals, but requires a veterinarian and that the animal be treated immediately.

Poison hemlock also can be found in agronomic crop fields but is more of a nuisance than anything, Johnson said.

“Poison hemlock invades no-till corn and soybean fields,” he said. “Herbicides that have activity on this weed and that can be used before planting soybeans are 2,4-D, dicamba and glyphosate. Dicamba and glyphosate have shown slightly better efficacy than 2,4-D. The best overall control in an early spring burndown would likely be attained with a mixture of glyphosate and dicamba.”

More information about this toxic weed in both pastures and crop fields can be found in the Purdue Extension Weed Science publication “Poison Hemlock - The Toxic Parsnip,” which is available for free download at http://www.btny.purdue.edu/weedscience/2003/articles/PHemlock03.pdf

- Rushville Republican

 

1
Text Only
Agriculture
  • Seminar to discuss quality forages, quality meat for producers WEST LAFAYETTE - Forage and livestock producers who want to learn about the role forage quality plays in meat quality can attend the Indiana Forage Council seminar. This year's seminar, Quality Forage-Quality Meat, will be held in conjunction with th

    April 11, 2014

  • Purdue Agriculture and Extension events Here is a look at current and upcoming events for Purdue Agriculture and Extension. APRIL 9-16: HARDWOOD LUMBER WORKSHOP The Purdue University Department of Forestry and Natural Resources is offering a workshop for those interested in the hardwood in

    April 11, 2014

  • Ag economist: Baby pig losses greatest in winter months WEST LAFAYETTE -- The impact of the PED virus in swine was felt most strongly during the unusually harsh winter months of December through February, Purdue University agricultural economist Chris Hurt said Monday. He said this means the losses of bab

    April 4, 2014

  • Study reveals farmers' buying preferences, concerns WEST LAFAYETTE -- Agribusiness leaders nationwide can use results from a new Purdue University study to help them become more successful by understanding their farmer customers better. The Large Commercial Producer Survey, conducted every five years

    April 4, 2014

  • USDA extends Milk Income Loss Contract program for 2014 WASHINGTON -- U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) Administrator Juan M. Garcia today announced the extension of the Milk Income Loss Contract (MILC) program. The extended MILC protects dairy farmers enrolled in the program

    April 4, 2014

  • U.S., South American soybean farmers unite in China ST. LOUIS - Farmers representing countries that produce 90 percent of the world's soybeans recently met with the customers who buy 25 percent of the world's soybeans. As part of the International Soy Growers Alliance (ISGA), leaders from the soy chec

    April 4, 2014

  • Wheat producers need to inspect crop as it breaks dormancy WEST LAFAYETTE - One of Indiana's coldest, snowiest winters in recent history could have damaged some of the state's winter wheat crop - a fact that necessitates field scouting, a Purdue Extension agronomist says. While snow cover insulates winter wh

    March 28, 2014

  • Home gardeners: 'Don't be fooled' by spotty nice weather WEST LAFAYETTE - Planting a home garden at the first sign of spring weather might cause big problems later, especially when more freeze days are likely ahead, a Purdue Extension horticulture specialist says. "Don't be fooled by the odd warm day we wi

    March 28, 2014

  • Purdue researchers launch two new farm decision tools WEST LAFAYETTE - A group of Purdue University researchers has led the Useful to Usable climate initiative in launching two free online tools to help farmers make crop decisions in variable weather conditions. Useful to Usable, or U2U, aims to improve

    March 28, 2014

  • ag-rv032814-soybean innovation pic Purdue students show how to innovate with soybeans WEST LAFAYETTE - A group of Purdue University students who created a soy-based, renewable and recyclable filament for 3D printing won the top prize in the annual Student Soybean Product Innovation Contest. The awards were announced at a reception We

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
AP Video
Disbanding Muslim Surveillance Draws Praise Hundreds Missing After South Korean Ferry Sinks Passengers Abuzz After Plane Hits Swarm of Bees Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Pistorius Trial: Adjourned Until May 5 Diaz Gets Physical for New Comedy Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.