Ragwort Identification

WHAT IS RAGWORT?

Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) is a very common plant that is native to Eurasia that is generally found in dry, open places.

WHY IS RAGWORT A PROBLEM?

The reason why Ragwort is such a problem is because it contains highly toxic pyrrolizidene alkaloids which permanently damage the liver of many animals. Horses are particularly at risk to Ragwort toxins leading to liver failure and in the worst cases death.

Ragwort poisoning can lead to loss of co-ordination and strange behaviour for the animals that are infected.

HOW DO YOU REMOVE RAGWORT?

Method 1 – Dig Out.
The most effective way to deal with individual ragwort plants, is to use the specially designed ragwort fork (that has central tines, which will help ensure that all the root can be removed. The best time to use this tool is when the ground is relatively soft, after a wet period of wet weather. The wet weather will also enable encourage all the root to come up, rather than getting broken off and left behind.

Method 2 – Spot spraying.
Spot spraying is a very quick and effective method of eradication, especially in an area where lots of plants that are springing up such as a small paddock. You must always make sure that all the animals are kept away from the treated area for the necessary period after.

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