Grazing & Mechanical Management

Day 5 – Grazing and Mechanical Techniques for Weed Management

Grazing can be a powerful tool for managing weeds, especially in areas where herbicides can’t be used. Different grazing animals have different grazing styles and preferences, and some weeds are ignored by grazing animals and compete for water and nutrients with preferred forage species. When grazing treatments are combined with other control techniques like herbicides or biocontrol, it forms a powerful and potent cocktail that can reduce severe infestations and eliminate small infestations.

Mechanical weed control is a physical method that prevents unwanted plant growth by removing, injuring, or killing weeds. It’s the oldest and most common weed control method in the world. Mechanical weed control methods use physical implements to remove, injure, or kill weeds, or make growing conditions unfavorable. These methods include:

  • Tilling: Uses a tractor to slice, chop, or uproot small weeds
  • Cultivation: Uses a tractor to undercut weeds between crop rows
  • Mowing: Uses a tractor to mow weeds
  • Hand hoeing: Uses a hand hoe to remove weeds
  • Hand removal: Uses hands to remove weeds
  • Flame weeding: Uses propane-fueled weeders to damage weed foliage with intense heat


Fact Sheets
MSU Extension advises caution for livestock feeding or grazing weeds during drought:
Mowing to Manage Noxious Weeds:
Canada thistle and grazing:
Common buckthorn:
The Effect of Laser Treatment as a Weed Control Method:,stop%20or%20delay%20the%20growth


Videos & podcasts
Adaptive Grazing 101: What You Should Do About “Weeds”:
From Weeds to Productive Pasture – Naturally:
Home Garden Course – Cultivation and Weeds | Starting from Zero Weeds:
How Mowing Height Prevents Weeds – Turf Tips with Dr. Brad:
Burn those weeds away with flame weeding:
Buckthorn Removal: Tools and Techniques:
Podcast: War Against Weeds, Weed Management, Grazing Management, Natives vs. Introduced:
Podcast: Diversify Your Toolbox to Manage Resistant Weeds in No-Till:


Activities & Helpful Websites
Montana State University Extension Publications:
Montana Department of Agriculture Noxious Weeds:
Montana Weed Control Association:
MSU Noxious Weed Management Certification:
MSU 406 Grazing Academy:,is%20open%20until%20April%2026.
2024 Montana Range Days:
2024 Montana Range Tour:


Other Articles & Information
Tillage, Cultivation, and Mowing:
The Nature Conservancy Weed Handbook regarding grazing:
Multispecies grazing and leafy spurge:
Laser “death ray” kills weeds 80x faster than humans:


As MNWAW is declared statewide, help us create a united front in the fight against noxious weeds in Montana, educate those around us, and celebrate the wins. Don’t forget to watch our gun raffle fundraiser LIVE on our Facebook page at 12pm.

Follow along, share, and engage with us!!





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