Friday, April 13, 2012

Please don't eat the locoweed

It was inevitable. All the snow that fell on New Mexico in December brought out a bumper crop of locoweed this spring. I was expecting it and preparing for it, but still was totally bummed out to see it in my pasture. For the last few weeks, I've been trying to convince myself that it was only growing around the edges of my land and that I'd be able to keep it in check by pulling it out by hand. Last night, I realized I was kidding myself.

(If you're a relative newcomer to the 7MSN, here is the definitive post on why locoweed makes us crazy. You can also click on "locoweed" in the list of labels at the bottom of this page to see every pathetic post I've written about the subject.)

Though not as prolific as the 2010 crop, the locoweed this year is abundant. 
The good news is that Lucy and the boys are not at all interested in tasting it.

I followed each of them around the pasture last night to see what would happen when they grazed near a patch of locoweed. 
All of them literally turned up their noses and moved on to eat the grass.

George: Excuse me? Why is that gate closed?
Me: Because it's easier to keep an eye on you guys and what you're eating when you're closer to the house, that's why.

Bubba, the licensed weed-killer who sprayed the pasture in 2010, will be coming back soon to eradicate the locoweed 
before it goes to seed, then the herd will be confined to a small, locoweed-free area for a month 
while the "Grazon P+D" does its thing. 

If Alan looks mad now, wait until you see him then.


  1. I remember the loco weed post and you talking about Bubba. Thank goodness no one is interested in eating it and there is an easy way to get rid of it. The herd will understand, and I'm sure when they see Bubba arrive they will remember.

  2. I recall your previous post, too. We had some locoweed in our pasture at the last house - I was constantly out there trying to kill it. Luckily, we don't have it... or I have not seen it... in our new digs.
    They do say that the animals won't eat it if they have other stuff. But, since it is one of the first things to green up, it may seem like a tasty morsel to our equines.

  3. Not all bad though. That gives your pasture a deferment from grazing right when the time the grass is really doing its thing. It will make it healthier in the long run. Even though you aren't grazing very many critters on it, a little grazing rest won't hurt. The grass anyway, the boys I sure will feel different!

  4. Remind Alan how lush and tasty the grasses will be in that pasture a month from now. He'll thank you after he's done being so angry.

  5. It's always something, isn't it? People in the city think that if they move to the country they'll never have to worry about crabgrass again. That's when they discover Tansy, locoweed, star thistle, and a whole host of other fascinating plants. And they have to buy a Roundup backpack instead of a squirt bottle.

    Love those clear blue New Mexico skies in your photos this week.

  6. I've heard of locoweed but didn't know what it looked like. What a worrisome spring chore. Poor Alan...He'll have to change his game plans.

  7. Oh no. It's back. Stupid loco. I wonder if we pulled a big blogging buddy (BBB) team together to come out there, if we couldn't make a dent in it.
    I'm in.

  8. Where is Bubba located please? Anywhere near Tijeras? I just discovered there is a rather large amount of locoweed on my property. Horses aren't there yet but am considering having the whole pasture sprayed before I bring them in. Any advice appreciated.

    1. I haven't needed Bubba to come back since 2012, but he lived in Tijeras then, near the old Ponderosa restaurant on S. 14. If you send me an email at the7msn at gmail dot com, I'll remember to look for his card and send you his number. The spraying he's done here has significantly reduced the amount of locoweed that pops up each spring, to the point where I don't need to worry about it anymore. I think you would be very wise to have it done before moving your horses in.

  9. Sorry to bother you again. I met with Bubba and now I have lost his phone number...not to mention his email address.
    Any help with contact greatly appreciated.

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