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Flixweed & Tansy Mustard

Updated: Apr 27, 2022

One of the great joys of Spring is seeing the first flowers popping up after a harsh winter void in the various vibrant colors you see during the other seasons. One of these such flowers is mustard. Vast fields of yellow flowering mustard in bloom are a beautiful sight! I have read that farmers sometimes use mustard plant as a cover crop. According to livestock management, mustard can also be classified as a toxic weed. If you don't have a phone app that identifies plants, its a fun and useful tool to have. We take photos of plants we are new to and need help in identifying. It turns out we have flixweed also called tansy mustard or mustard weed in our pasture. It is most toxic when flowering and can be harmful to cows and sheep. We contacted a local Agriculture extension in our area to confirm, and he came back with advice on how to spray it, but added that it would have been better to get on it earlier in it's growth cycle. Well having only been here since January and not knowing the pasture, that would have been difficult. So we have some yellow flowers/weeds popping up and we do not use poisons/herbicides on our property. We have been running chickens over it now and then. We will be seeding the pasture with a blend of grasses and legumes in the fall and currently are spreading seed over then areas that have been grazed. We believe that some "weeds" come into areas that are dry and nutrient deficient. We are hoping that fertilization, good irrigation and a good seed blend will bring it under control and in addition, optimize the type of forage we want our livestock grazing. There is a lot to learn. Ty and I got into a heated argument that lasted a good portion of 2 days on what type of seed blend we want to use and where t0 source it from. He has been researching and using these principles longer than I have. I have a tendency to challenge ideas and ask questions. He has a tendency to be right, but I want a thorough explanation, which almost always leads to us butting heads...Mostly, in the end, we come to an agreement and a plan of action. It should be educational seeing what happens in the pasture after using the principles we are implementing.

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