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New herbicides for sandbur, weed control in pastures set Sept. 27 in Georgetown

published: September 22nd 2022
by: Susan Himes
source: Texas AgriLife Today

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service office in Williamson County will present “New Herbicides for Weed Control in Pastures” on Sept. 27 in Georgetown.



The program will be from 10-11 a.m. at Scurlock Farms Fields, 301 Scurlock Farms Road. The event will cover controlling sandbur — also known as grassbur — and other pesky and painful weeds producers find in pastures.

The event is free but advance registration is required at

“Clearly sandburs are a serious problem in livestock,” said Gary Pastushok, AgriLife Extension agriculture and natural resources agent, Williamson County. “Sandburs are most common on grazing and hay lands following periods of drought and overgrazing. Barbed seed heads can stick to cattle, tires, clothes and are easily spread into the countryside.”

The barbs can become embedded into soft tissues of livestock, lips, mouth, gums or in the gastrointestinal tract. Horses can develop blisters or ulcerated lips and mouths resulting in weight loss and gastrointestinal tract damage over time.   

“We have received more rancher complaints about sandburs this year than over the last couple of years, and this is an ideal time to show actual field results of local trials to our livestock folks,” he said.

Studying sandburs

The pasture at Scurlock Farms received a total of 6 inches of rainfall over the past few weeks following the extreme summer drought, Pastushok said, which has now stimulated a heavy flush of grasses and broadleaf weed species.

The Scurlock site is one of several statewide field trial locations established to investigate the efficacy of new herbicide combinations against sandburs and other rangeland weed species.  

Pastushok said scientists believe that warmer winters and possibly a shift in sandbur genetics could be some of the key reasons for a shift in sandbur biotypes, from a strictly annual species to a semi-perennial or perennial species.   

Weed control

The featured speaker is Zach Howard, AgriLife Extension weed science and pasture management specialist, Bryan-College Station. He will cover effective weed control in pastures and discuss the newer herbicides available to combat them.

“This is a unique opportunity for area ranchers to get to visit with Zach and see what products may best fit their production goals,” Pastushok said.

Howard will cover controlling sandbur and other grass weeds and the use of Rezilon and Panoramic herbicides.

Contact Pastushok at or call 512-943-3300 for additional information or questions.




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