Utah State Extension in Sevier County: Ridding Ranch of Costly Weeds
The Rocky Mountain Iris might look nice in your garden, but if it takes over a meadow, ranchers can lose most of their forage. This is what was plaguing Stuart Johnson on high-mountain irrigated meadow rangeland up Salina Canyon.
"I tried mowing it and using some of the traditional herbicides such as Weedmaster, and nothing was working," Johnson says. "Rocky Mountain Iris and Golden Pea were taking over the pasture where we run about 1,200 head of cattle. The cattle wouldn't eat it, which meant about a 50 percent reduction in forage."
A team of Extension agents and specialists including Utah State University's Jody Gale, Kim Chapman, David Drake and Wyoming's Tom Whitson took on the project.
Johnson said they devised a series of test plots to try various herbicides and application methods until they hit upon the most economical solution. "Escort" proved to be the best at about $22 per acre for 95 percent control. Doubling the forage production per acre was more than enough to pay for the treatment.