Update on Roundup-Resistant Marestail

I’m a little cautious when it comes to making claims, but I’ll say it anyway – “SUCCESS!” 

We took a pasture walk yesterday, and we couldn’t find any marestail.  In this post I detailed our efforts in getting rid of this nasty but impressive weed.  Our fields were infested with it last year, especially in areas where it had no grass competition.  We mowed four times last summer (a very wet summer) and two times this summer (a very hot and dry summer).  We’ve done nothing else but spread compost on about two acres so far.  Marestail is nowhere to be seen on any of our fields.   

Because marestail has very shallow roots, I’m sure this summer’s drought helped to eradicate it (even though it’s flourishing in our neighbor’s GMO soybean field- maybe it’s not just resistant to round up, but loves it?).  Regardless, we’re so happy to have found a chemical-free way to off this weed.  I doubt soybean farmers have the cash flow to take their marestail-infested fields out of production, but I bet if they did for just one year most of the marestail would be gone.  They could thickly seed a very competitive plant, like American sweet clover, and mow for one year.  The sweet clover could out-compete the marestail for sunlight and nutrients, and the bush hog would take care of the rest.    This is exactly what we’re going to try on our neighbor’s fields.  Our neighbor has invited us to convert his fields to pasture.  They’re tired of looking at weed-infested, gnarly soybean fields.  We’ll keep the updates coming.

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