Fungicide use on small goat pasture

Asked November 12, 2018, 9:26 PM EST

Hello, I have a small rye grass pasture for my nigerian dwarf and pygmy goats. It has been cold and the field has been locking in moisture and now is getting cotton swab looking fungus. Is there a fungicide that can safely be used, if so how long do we have to keep our goats from grazing?

Pima County Arizona

2 Responses

There are several issues to address. First, while fungus on pastures may look unsightly, it may not be cause for treatment. There are treatment thresholds for each fungus. The first step is to identify the fungus. From your description, it may be pythium blight. Most fungus thrives when there is warm, wet conditions in the field. You can submit a sample to your local county extension office in Pima County. They would want a section of pasture on the edge of where the fungal growth begins. So that, there is both healthy and diseased grass included. You can also submit a photo for possible identification. A photo of the individual fungal growth as well as one of the area in the infected field. Fortunately, most pasture infestations do not reach the treatment thresholds. Second, most fungicides labeled for use on pastures have a very short grazing restriction. Most can be grazed the same day or the next. There is usually a longer restriction for lactating animals that may be up to 30 days or more.. The label will state the grazing restrictions. There is a caveat when using copper based fungicides, if you are grazing sheep on the same pasture, there may be a longer reentry period as they have a lower tolerance for this element.

Thank you so much for the detailed response. I will definitely check with my extension office!