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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Goldenrod Control -- Now's the Time

LAS CRUCES -- Autumn is the time for ranchers to apply control measures to rayless goldenrod, a poisonous plant that is toxic to all livestock, said a New Mexico State University brush and weed specialist.

"Late fall to early spring is the time when most poisoning occurs," said Keith Duncan with NMSU's Cooperative Extension Service. "Rayless goldenrod, or jimmyweed, is not very palatable to livestock, but animals will eat it when they have no other feed. This most often happens after snowstorms, in times of extreme drought or on severely overgrazed areas."

The plant blooms from August to October and should be sprayed after blooming but before frost, Duncan said. Ranchers can spray individual weeds when the plants are scattered, or broadcast herbicide in denser stands. Herbicide applications at other times of the year have not proven effect in controlling the weed.

Tremetol, the poisonous substance in rayless goldenrod, produces a condition called the "trembles". Daily consumption of as little as one percent of an animal's body weight for a week may produce poisoning symptoms and death.

Rayless goldenrod is a deciduous perennial native that is most abundant on alkali or gypsum soils, specially in the Rio Grande and Pecos River valleys.

"Rayless goldenrod can be controlled with applications of Tordon 22K (R) or Ally (R) herbicides," Duncan said. For more information about rayless goldenrod control, contact your county Extension office.

Mention of chemical trade names does not constitute an endorsement for or discrimination against any product by the New Mexico Cooperative Extension Service.