How to Get Rid of Broomsedge/Broomstraw
One of the most frequently asked questions from livestock owners and hay producers is “how do I get rid of all this Broomsedge/Broomstraw?” While this can be a loaded question there really is a simple answer. The answer lies in soil health practices.
Here in NC and many other places around the country, Broomsedge is a common noxious weed that thrives in low fertility soils. With little to no nutritive value Broomsedge does not offer us much potential for forage and has little value in any of our pastures or hay fields. So our first step in the removal of this noxious weed is to take soil samples. Soil samples will allow us to review our current soil health and to see exactly what is recommended to apply for optimum growth of our forage. If your fields are wrapped up in Broomsedge you will likely find that you are missing two key nutrients Phosphorus and Calcium Carbonate. If you are missing one or the other then you have already won half of the battle. You can apply whats needed based on your soil test and watch the Broomsedge disappear. If not then you will need to apply both Phosphorus and Calcium Carbonate. Calcium carbonate is what we typically refer to as Lime and can be found in various forms. Most commonly used is granular Ag Lime which can be purchased in bulk forms for relatively cheap around $10-$15 a ton depending on your relative location to the distributor. Studies have shown that application of both Lime and Phosphorus together will dramatically reduce Broomsedge populations better than applying on or the other. When reading your soil test P-I should be greater than 50 and soil pH should read 6.0-7.0 depending on your crop. The key is to maximize the growth and thickness of your desired forage in order to choke out the unwanted weeds.
If you follow this guide and take soil samples every 2-3 years to keep up with the needs of your soil you should be successful in maintaining those noxious weeds.