Wild (Bad) Parsnip

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by altair, May 21, 2020.

  1. altair

    altair Well-Known Member

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    This weed is prevalent here. Last year my husband and I handpicked what we could find, or mowed, on our property, our goal being to get it off our property as much as possible. It's a biennial so we were hoping to at least get a jump on it most years and break the cycle.

    The roadsides are just littered with it, more our neighbors than us. My hunch is when the town mows the roadsides and ditches, they spread the seeds.

    The second issue is grazing. I heard it's not good for livestock to consume. We were going to use our property for both grazing and hay. My question is if anyone's experienced with having it and if they've had issues. I'm not sure if it takes sufficient quantities or if dried it isn't as toxic, etc.
     
  2. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    Giant Hog weed will blister your skin and leave scars. Cow Parsnip looks like a smaller version of Giant Hog weed and the juices can leave welts on your skin, made worse by sunlight. Maybe the college Extension can get you answers.
     

  3. barnbilder

    barnbilder Well-Known Member

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    I have put up square bales with wild parsnip. Bothers some people really bad, but it usually takes the dust or seeds getting caught in a place like underwear elastic, and then getting activated by sweat to cause a problem. Big nasty blister. You can eat the roots, parsnips are parsnips, some are just feral. Planted some here but had a fence breech and sheep and goats eradicated it.
     
  4. altair

    altair Well-Known Member

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    We borrowed goats last summer and I could have sworn they ate what they could find. From what I tried to glean through scientific papers, it isn't so much toxic as it is reactive with sunlight when bruised and touching skin and eaten, provided the animal had a strong enough dose. I also read in one of the scientific journals mammals pretty quickly metabolize and excrete it.

    As diligent as we are hand-cutting I can't think of others who do the same so I'm thinking native bales probably have small quantities of it. We'd like to sell hay so I'm trying to be mindful of not selling a mix that could potentially be harmful. But it doesn't sound quite as bad as I immediate thought.

    Luckily no giant hogweed, Haypoint. The wild parsnip will leave you with blisters as well. We suit up pretty well when we hand-chop.

    We're doing our best to get a handle on invasives i.e. parsnip, phragmites and purple loosestrife. Luckily the goats really helped and loved those plants so I'm hoping when we raise some of our own next year, they'll be great additions. Living next to wetlands makes us not want to use pesticides. Some extra labor is worth it.
     
  5. Lisa in WA

    Lisa in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

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    don’t know about back East but out here we have western water hemlock that looks like parsnip and a smaller version of hogweed. Pretty deadly stuff.
     
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