Friday, May 17, 2013

Weed ID Is Important When Selecting and Treating Weeds

Contact: Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist
Tel: (417) 682-3579

It is essential to treat weeds to reduce the competition to desired plants in a field or pasture according to Jill Scheidt, agronomy specialist with University of Missouri Extension in Barton County.

“When weeds are present, they are competing for nutrients, sunlight, air and moisture,” said Scheidt.

However, in order to have success, correctly identifying weeds in a pasture is very important.

“Identifying a weed incorrectly can lead to applying the wrong treatment,” said Scheidt.

The most successful way to kill a weed is to treat for it while it is in a young stage of growth.

According to Scheidt, most weeds are hard to control once they have reached over four inches in height or diameter, so treating for weeds during the early stages of growth is pertinent.


University of Missouri Extension has many helpful resources to help producers correctly identify weeds and learn about growth stages and the most effective method for control.

The website,, contains about 350 different plant species that could be encountered as a weed of field and horticultural crops, pastures, lawns, gardens, and noncrop or aquatic areas in Missouri and surrounding states, said Kevin Bradley, MU Extension weed scientist.

Users choose either “broadleaf” or “grass and grass-like” and then narrow the list of suspects by selecting from among more than a dozen characteristics such as habitat, lifecycle, leaf type and root system.

For more obscure characteristics like the presence of ligules and auricles, helpful illustrations appear when users keep the mouse pointer over the drop-down box.


University of Missouri Extension has released a free app for iPhones, iPads and Android devices to help people identify weeds in the field, lawn or garden.

The app, called ID Weeds, has information on more than 400 plant species that could be encountered as weeds in crop fields, pastures, lawns, gardens or aquatic areas in Missouri and surrounding states.

ID Weeds lets users narrow the list of suspects with a series of drop-down boxes for various plant characteristics.

If a user is not familiar with technical terms such as "ligules" or "spatulate," they can click on "what's this" to see an illustration.

“Seems like most people have a cell phone these days, so this app can aid producers with quick information,” said Scheidt.

Download iPhone and other iOS devices at For Android devices, search for "ID Weeds" at


Finally, the University of Missouri Extension has many helpful guides on herbicides and control methods for weed control.

One document, “MUPastureWeedBrush.PDF” lists weed names, control methods, mixtures and correct timing herbicide application. This link can also be found on the Cedar County Extension website or by going to and typing in “Pasture Weed and Brush Control."

“This guide is quick and easy to follow, it also provides efficacy ratings on herbicides,” said Scheidt.

Local Extension offices can aid producers with printed information and tips on how to navigate through the MU Extension website.

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