Holiday Ranch
Breeder of South Poll Grass Cattle

Spiny or Palmer Amaranth – Pig Weed- is a scourge!

We took delivery of some hay several years ago that contained some Pig Weed.  Shame on the hay man!

Pig Weed

Pig Weed

The cows ate the hay containing the Pig Weed seed and pooped the seed out all over the ranch.  We have been fighting Pig Weed ever since.

Pig Weed must be nature’s most efficient weed.  They grow like crazy!  Each plant produces thousands of seed and the stems have large spines on them.  These stickers make Pig Weed less than palatable to the cows so the Pig Weed grows and goes to seed, the cows eat the seed heads, poop the seed out, thus keeping the vicious cycle going.

Possibly you have heard of weeds that have become Round-Up resistant.  Pig Weed is one of those weeds.  (Please note that we do not routinely use herbicides on Holiday Ranch, I just thought you would like to know that Pig Weed is extremely hard to control.)  Our control regimen has been to chop and hoe or hand-pull them up by the roots.  Not very efficient, and is back-breaking work.

We made the decision to get some sheep or goats to assist us in controlling some of the weed problems.  Goats were ruled out as they are too hard to contain.  More on sheep later…

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