How Long After Spraying MCPA Can I Graze (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 7 Days

MCPA refers to a type of herbicide that comes under the category of phenoxy herbicide. It Is commonly used to stop the growth of weeds, particularly pasture crops and cereal crops.

The herbicide is seen as a brown-colored powder. MCPA stands for 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid and is very powerful. Due to being inexpensive, the MCPA compound is used in various chemical activities.

MCPA is one of the two most commonly used proxy herbicides in the agricultural field, the second is 2,4-D which is short for 2,4-dichlophenoxyacetic acid. Both of these compounds stop or reduce the growth of weeds in the crops.

How Long After Spraying MCPA Can I Graze?

Herbicides have been used ever since their creation for the removal of weeds in crops. However, gradually with time, the effects and traits of herbicides have become more advanced; for example, the herbicides now have become more effective and work selectively on only the toxic weeds.

However, all of these traits have also made them highly toxic.  Herbicides are applied in two ways, either they would be applied before the weeds emerge, in the case that it would kill them as soon as they come out of the soil. Second, they are applied after the weed has already grown, in which case it would stop their growth and then kill them.

Some herbicides are applied in the soil and would be absorbed by the plants through their roots. MCPA has proved to be very toxic to aquatic animals and mammals, when either in natural ways or due to human activity, the surface level herbicide is washed into the sea or any other water body.

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The technique of spray grazing refers to the process of applying very low amounts of herbicide to the roots and grass of the crop and then, after about 7 to 10 days, grazing twice or thrice the number of sheep and goats on the land.

The number of cattle is reduced after the needed amount of weed is eaten and the weed growth is reduced due to herbicide applied on their roots. The crops would grow more freely.

The most common herbicides used for spray grazing are 2,4-D amine, 2,4-DB, and MCPA.

Time Of Applying HerbicideAction
Before The Weeds Are GrowingKill the weeds as soon as they grow out of the soil
After The Weeds Have GrownStop their growth and kill the weeds

Why Graze After 7-10 Days Of Spraying MCPA?

Spray grazing is a technique of applying herbicide to control the growth of weeds in crops, especially in cereal crops and pasture crops.

During Spray Grazing, the herbicide is applied to the roots and grass of the crop, and after 7 to 10 days, twice or thrice the number of sheep and goats are grazed over the patch of land. The number of cattle is reduced after the needed amount of weed is eaten. The herbicides applied to the roots, then, prevent new weed to grow on the land.

The most commonly used herbicides along MCPA for spray grazing are 2,4-D amine and 2,4-DB. 2,4-D is the cheapest of the three but can cause some damage to the clovers and hence should be used carefully.

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MCPA causes less damage and can also be applied to the clovers in an early stage. 2,4-DB is the herbicide that causes the least damage of all three, however, it is also the most expensive of the three herbicides and hence, is rarely used.

Weed plants such as Capeweed, sheep thistle, and Peterson’s curse can be effectively controlled by the spray grazing technique if incorporated at an early stage.

Herbicides can also be applied to the soil before the weeds start to grow so that the chemicals kill the plant as soon as they grow out of the soil.

The herbicides can cause serious damage to the internal organs of both animals and humans if they get into the body by food or water, and hence should be used carefully.

Conclusion

MCPA is a kind of herbicide that comes under the category of phenoxy herbicides. It is used to stop or decrease the growth of weeds in pasture and cereal crops. It looks like a brown-colored powder.

Spray grazing technique means putting the herbicide on the roots and clovers of the crop and after about 7 to 10 days, grazing twice or thrice the number of goats and sheep over the patch of land. The number of cattle would be reduced after the needed amount of weed is eaten. The most common herbicides along with MCPA which are used in spray grazing are 2,4-D amine and 2,4-DB.

References

  1. https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/feeding-nutrition/spray-grazing-broadleaf-weed-control-pastures#:~:text=Spray%20graze,7%2D10%20days%20after%20spraying.
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/neuroscience/mcpa
  3. https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/pastures/spray-grazing-declared-plants
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