Winter is approaching and its time to check in on your weed control plans. Noxious weeds are best controlled if you track them carefully. Here are a few tips to get you started in case you need some ideas.

Make a list of the weeds on your property that trouble you the most, include any strange weeds that are totally new to your ranch. For large acreage, make a map of where you find the weeds. This will help you monitor the infestation as you apply different weed control strategies.

Some weeds you won’t know the name for but list them the best you can anyway. Your map can be something as simple as a crude drawing of your farm or it can be very sophisticated like an interactive map found on the Internet. My favorite is the NRCS Web Soil Survey.

Next, get positive identification and the official name of your weeds. Knowing the actual scientific name or official common name will help ensure you are matching known control methods with the correct plant. Several online plant ID apps, such as those evaluated by MSU (Search “MSU Plant ID”), have grown in popularity.

Use caution with those apps as it is easy to incorrectly identify plants with them.

You could also take a photo of the plant and submit it to douglas.extension@oregonstate.edu. Please let us know the agricultural crop (livestock pasture, hay, row crop, orchard, vineyard, etc.) you are growing in that area or just list yard, garden or non-crop field. Submit several photos of the weed including close-ups on a contrasting background, parts of the plants, the whole plant and the plant where it is currently growing.

You may also bring weed samples into the OSU Extension Office, 1134 SE Douglas Ave., Roseburg, for ID. Collect the entire plant, if not too large, roots to flowers, and place it in a bag. If the plant is fresh and green, wrap the root end in a slightly moist paper towel and place it in a plastic baggie; one sample per bag. See if you can find fresh growth and dried specimens from last season.

Once you know what the weeds are, learn important details about how they grow. Information on the life cycle, appearance at different times of the year and how the weed spreads help to choose and execute the best control methods for that particular weed.

Use an old calendar and list what time of the year to observe the flowers (easy to see and identify), times when seeds germinate or dormant plants start to regrow, and times when weeds switch from vegetative growth (new growth) to reproductive growth (bolting and pre-bloom to full bloom).

These different phases of growth can be matched up to a whole toolbox of control methods, better known as Integrated Pest Management (IPM). Keep the calendar handy so that each month you know what control method to apply at that time.

There is nothing worse for control than to see the flowers of a weed that reminds you that you missed a control opportunity in the previous month!

The Weed Map and Weed Calendar are two activities important to tracking weeds so that you can properly control them. Contact the Douglas County/OSU Extension Service at 541-672-4461 for more information on weeds and different methods to control them.

Three upcoming educational programs on weeds are available in Roseburg, including one on Weed Control in Pastures (TBA, 2022) and two Pesticide Recertification Education opportunities (Jan. 12 and Feb. 3, 2022).

Weed Day will not be offered.

Check out our “Events” page (bit.ly/33k1QGp) for upcoming classes and registration instructions and sign up for email announcements from OSU.

Shelby Filley is the Regional Livestock & Forages Specialist for western Oregon, housed at the OSU Extension Service of Douglas County. Shelby can be reached by email shelby.filley@oregonstate.edu or phone at 541-236-3016.

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