Agri Vehicles Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: new home with cut ragwort  (Read 7272 times)

Oaklands

  • Joined Nov 2010
new home with cut ragwort
« on: November 10, 2010, 08:20:48 am »
hi all

lovely to have found this site, and will introduce ourselves properly soon! we are about to move to 7 acres (4.5 pasture, 2 ish woodland for which we only have freehold, there is a leasehold on the trees), with 3 horses. the pasture when we first looked at the place was full of mature and also this years ragwort. to our horror, when we returned having made offer and started process, the field had been cut. we are not due to move there until January - it was cut in about end sept/oct.

will this be safe for horses - the cut stuff was left on the field - i feel it should be rotted away by jan? but will go have another look as soon as it is possible. we have asked now that it not be cut again....

thanks for your help!

PS we hope to have pigs in the woodland possibly too ;)

egglady

  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2010, 08:33:11 am »
eek!  ragwort becomes more palatable after it's cut.  Whether or not it's rotted down enough I'm afriad I don't know.  Can you find a way to have it raked up?  Or at least some of it and then you can maybe try and strip graze, clearing as you go along?  Although strip grazing this time of year is pretty yuck and you end up with even worse poached fields...

hope someone can give you a workable answer

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Cairngorms
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2010, 10:37:17 am »
Horses dont tend to eat ragwort when its a standing plant in a field unless by mistake or they are hungry, ragwort is at its worst when cut as horses will eat it, thats where the probelm comes with ragwort in hay. not sure if it will be rotted down enough or not, someone else might be able to help with that one, i would walk the field and clear it all, it will be a pain in the bo**** but you cant be to careful
Good luck and hi from moray  :wave:

Oaklands

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2010, 11:51:20 am »
thanks moray, egglady. i was aware cut ragwort was the worst, hence the horror at finding it cut back in october - obviously not animal people that arranged it!  this place is perfect in every other way, so thought I would deal with the ragwort as we were having such a struggle to find somewhere. i was planning a 'paddock paradise' track around the outside of the field initially (and to spray the inner bit in the spring), perhaps raking that area bit by bit might be the answer if no one else has any thoughts or advice.

i suppose i could collect some rotted down stuff and see if they find it palatable...  being careful to not let them eat it of course. i just hope it was cut before it seeded.  i suppose lucky really that it has been so wet, and warm, as it might be more likely to rot??

will await more feedback, thanks again!

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Cairngorms
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2010, 11:55:37 am »
good luck with it, and your new place, let us know how you get on  :wave:

katie

  • Joined Feb 2008
  • worcs
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2010, 04:45:57 pm »
Hi
We had the same problem and did a lot of research on ragwort. Apparently it does lose a lot of it's toxicity after a while - months rather than years, IIRC. However I don't remember the figures and especially don't know about horses - we were looking as regards sheep. Google ragwort/rotting down/toxicity or some such and have many happy hours reading!

Oaklands

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2010, 09:39:59 pm »
thanks that's a good tip, I will give it a go :-)

Oaklands

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2010, 09:40:51 pm »
PS -don't mean to be naive/dim but what is IIRC??

faith0504

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Cairngorms
  • take it easy and chill
    • blaemuir cottage
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2010, 09:43:31 pm »
IIRC if i remember/recall correctly

i have just googled it ha ha ha ha  :wave:

Norfolk Newby

  • Joined Aug 2009
  • West Norfolk, UK
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2010, 11:37:23 am »
Be careful!

http://www.acronymfinder.com/

lists about a dozen means of IIRC.

Returning to ragwort. I have a 12 acre field which I use to grow plants and tree seedlings. Part of it is still as it was when I bought it. It had been set-aside land for several years and was covered in rough grass and weeds many of which were thistles.

I had it deep ploughed in order to break up and compressed layer, to bury the weeds and give me a clean sheet to start working on.

The result was an impressive crop of thistles and poppies which I have reduced over 3 years with a topper and a chain harrow.

I know have some weeds growing but much less in the way of thistles. BUT, in the meantime I have attracted a lot of ragwort plants.

In the early Spring (late March - early April), these appear as flat rosettes which grow into small mounds making them very obvious against the partly bare earth. So I go round with a back pack sprayer and a 10% solution of Roundup. I CAREFULLY spray each plant and repeat after 2 weeks. This knocks out about 90% of the ragwort. However, the other weeds and grass are now growing (late April) and the mounds of the ragwort plants are harder to spot. Then they start to spring up as taller weeds preparatory to flowering, so I repeat the spraying.

The remaining ragworts continue to grow and try to flower until late October so the spraying has to continue until then if it is to be effective.

I have found that pulling up a semi-mature plant leaves its roots - or enough of them - to produce 4-5 plants where there was initially one. This also applies to using a plough or disc harrow. Removing the flowers stops them seeding - temporarily. They will grow new flowers or regrow the next year.

I don't like using Roundup but it is effective. I only spray the ragworts and try hard to avoid any other plants, even weeds as the killed plants can poison worms and other wildlife which contribute to a good balanced soil culture.

I have seen this web site:-

http://www.barrier-biotech.com/ragwort.php

promoting something called Barrier H. It might be worth trying if you want a more specific poison, particularly if your fields are used to house horses.

Good luck

Novice - growing fruit, trees and weeds

jinglejoys

  • Joined Jul 2009
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2010, 12:58:53 pm »
I find Barrier H great and at least you know which planrs you have sprayed and they don't take forever to keel over and die ;D The other one (Ragtime)was no good.
   If you are doing the Paradice Paddock track system you could spot spray that first also I don't know if it really works but if I pull I put salt down the hole as I was told that kills ragwort...anything to get rid of the obnoxious little weed ;)

OhLaLa

  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #11 on: November 12, 2010, 05:50:26 pm »
........i suppose i could collect some rotted down stuff and see if they find it palatable... 

How will you find out if they find it palatable if you don't let them eat it? Don't try offering it up to them. Horses do find Ragwort palatable.

So, 4.5 acres of pastureland, could be worse. Sorry, and I have a feeling you already know this - but I'd get my (soggy) bum out there and start picking up every bit of ragwort that I could find and sticking it into the wheelbarrow. Then I'd go out there two more times afterwards (on sep days) and pick up all the stuff I'd missed on the previous trips. Then it goes onto the burning pile (not compost heap or muckheap) and gets burnt.

No one said keeping animals was an easy life. Come rain come shine, mother nature does her stuff and we have to do our best for our animals.

That means we get wet, we get miserable, but we have to get it done.


lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #12 on: November 14, 2010, 10:27:11 am »
The other thing to try when you do have to put them out is to put out tasty haylage or hay for a few weeks/months, which they may eat in preference. Or muzzle them so that they get the fresh air but can only nibble a bit of grass. Personally I think if we get decent frosts the ragwort will be not a problem by spring but I would try to gather up whatever you can.

Oaklands

  • Joined Nov 2010
Re: new home with cut ragwort
« Reply #13 on: November 21, 2010, 11:16:04 am »
Thanks everyone for your help. googling as someone suggested 'ragwort/rotting down' led me to Barrier-H, and I have talked to the people (AgResource) who distribute Barrier-H (who are also recommended by BHS) and have ordered some - it acts quickly, can be used any time of year as long as it is dry, and is a backpack/spot sprayer type thing - and safe for horses after 2 weeks. apparently a lot of livery yards use it. there is just TOO much to dig up (1000's...), esp with the back issues I have, and I have found the same as others - digging up produces more plants later from broken roots - even in soft ground with a ragfork! (never heard of the salt trick!). i am doing a track system, a la paddock paradise and will as suggested attack that first. hoping to get some hay off later - so will do the spraying spring and autumn for a year before getting hay off.  I have also been advised that horses wont eat growing ragwort if there is enough to eat otherwise.

very excited about the move and thanks once again for all of your advice!

 

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