Why Control Docks (Rumex spp.) in Established Grassland?

  • They are the most pernicious and damaging of all grassland weeds
  • More than 15% of productive grassland has a serious dock infestation
  • Grazing losses amount to more than £30 million/year
  • Docks compete with grass for light, nutrients and moisture and thus reduce grass yields
  • Docks have only 65% of the feed value of grass

Docks are unpalatable and, in general, animals will only eat them if there is nothing else available. Excessive quantities of docks in the diet can cause dietary upsets, especially in young animals. When fields become infested with docks, the available grazing is reduced, which then impacts on the planned grazing cycle. Presence of docks in silage can affect fermentation, thus reducing overall quality.

 

Docks = lower stocking rates and gross margins

= reduced grazing

= reduced quality

= lower performance (milk yield and live-weight gain)