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A Tale of Two Buttercups

by Matt Poore, North Carolina State University

One of the signs of spring are the beautiful buttercups that adorn the roadsides, pastures and cropland. While to the casual viewer they really give a pretty yellow glow to the world in early spring, to an experienced forage manager they are clearly one of our most common and troublesome weeds.

Buttercups are non-native species that are very opportunistic at taking hold wherever there is bare ground in pastures. They are very common in hay feeding/sacrifice areas, around waterers, and everywhere in pastures that have been damaged due to animal impact during wet times, or due to overgrazing. The plants are very quick to set seed, so by the time you see the first yellow, there are literally only days left until they have set seed to provide for a good population the next year. So, if your pastures are really yellow each spring and you don’t do anything about it, it is unlikely that you will ever have much of a break from their impact. Continue reading