Published May 25, 2016

Planning to graze cover crops next fall or spring? Consider herbicides restrictions before applying!

By Meghan Filbert

Many corn and bean herbicides have grazing restrictions that can affect your cover crop grazing plan. Some herbicides don’t allow cover crops to ever be grazed or utilized as forage. If you plan on planting cover crops, and especially if you plan on turning livestock into your cover crop fields, the herbicide label restrictions  must be considered. Before you spray, read labels to ensure it’s safe to use your cover crops (and your crop residue) as livestock feed.

This handout helps you think through your cover crop plan and lists links to other resources that provide reference tables on specific herbicides and their restrictions.

Herbicide restrictions for grazing

Here’s an example of restrictions listed on the Flexstar GT 3.5 label. Wheat, barley and rye can be planted 4 months after the last application of Flexstar, but cannot be utilized as forage or straw for livestock.

Herbicide label

A 2014 PFI study looked at herbicide carryover injury to cover crops. This research was conducted to assess 4 different cover crop species performance following normal and 2X the rate of corn herbicides post applied. Cover crops were overseeded the following fall into the standing corn.

For questions, please contact Meghan Filbert at 515-232-5661.