Controlling Problematic Plants on Summer Pastures

Ziege
Appropriate grazing management can suppress problematic plants such as green alder.

Summer pastures harbour an impressive variety of different plant species. Alongside good forage grasses and herbs, weeds and problematic plants have always been part of the vegetation. Control options on summer pastures are limited, since herbicides often do not selectively target individual weeds in species-rich swards, and the terrain militates against mechanical control via cutting or mulching. The most important tool in the alpine farmer’s armoury for influencing botanical composition is grazing management.

In partnership with Agridea, the FiBL and Büro Alpe, Agroscope has compiled knowledge on controlling numerous problem plants in the alpine region on the Patura Alpina website. Factsheets and videos with tips from scientists and practitioners are available on the following species:

  • Green alder (Alnus viridis)
  • Alpine dock (Rumex alpinus)
  • White false hellebore (Veratrum album)
  • Rushes (Juncus species)
  • Alpine ragwort (Senecio alpinus)
  • Eagle fern (Pteridium aquilinum) and Male fern (Dryopteris-filix-mas)
  • Dwarf shrubs
Alp Problempflanze
Left: Alpine dock and other problematic plants are becoming problem on overused grazing land.
Right: European white hellebore is poisonous, and hence seldom eaten by livestock.

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Combating green alders with goats