buttercup again in my pastures

Asked May 17, 2017, 8:22 AM EDT

Would you recommend a company/person who would help me get rid of buttercup in my pastures? I haven't had it for at least 12 years and this year I let my friend put her horses on the pasture and within a month buttercup started showing up. I'm not sure if it was the horses bringing it in from a pasture that had buttercup on it, but I need to get rid of it before it creeps into my other pastures. If you know someone who could help, I sure would appreciate it. Thank you .

Jackson County Oregon pastures and forages

6 Responses

Hello there,

In Jackson County we get a lot of Buttercup infestations from the irrigation water. When pastures are over grazed weeds such as this take over. Horses are particularly hard on pastures and so extra care should be taken to make sure they are not damaging the pastures.

The herbicide, MCPA, is effective against buttercup. But will not cause permanent damage to clovers. The following information comes from the PNW Weed Management Handbook:

MCPA LV ester or MCPA amine

Rate 1.5 lb ae/A

Time Apply when the buttercup is growing well.

Remarks Avoid drift to sensitive crops and desirable vegetation.

Site of action Group 4: synthetic auxin

Chemical family Phenoxy acetic acid


Also, the weed is spread by the roots. So when the pasture soils are very wet, grazing spreads the weed. Keep off wet pastures, especially with heavy animals. Horses have hooves that are one piece rather than the split hoof of cattle. The single-digit hoof has a much greater impact (PSI).

Hi Shelby. Thank you for getting back so soon and with great information. Where can you buy the MCPA? You said "avoid drift to sensitive vegetation..." ...does the MCPA hurt grass? I would need someone to help that has the right equipment....would you know of anyone that could help me spray the pastures?

You can buy MCPA at farm stores like Big R, Grange Co-op, etc. MCPA does not kill grasses or clovers, but could injure other broadleaves (flowers, shrubs, etc.) you may want to protect. Pasture grasses and clovers will be okay. I do have a list of pesticide applicators you could hire. Try asking the farm store people. Make sure the applicator licensed by the Oregon Department of Agriculture.

Shelby, thank you again. I appreciate your help and advice. I will call the Grange near my home for licensed applicators.