Prickly Pear cactus problem.
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Thread: Prickly Pear cactus problem.

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    green and red man's Avatar
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    Prickly Pear cactus problem.

    Just wondering if anyone here has found a better method to get rid of it other than by spraying herbicides?

    It would be too expensive to use herbicides on this size of property and also not desirable since cattle are in all the pastures.

    I could dig it up with a backhoe, but it would probably take over a year. If a tractor and shredder are used, it'll just spread it around more.

    Maybe I can weld together some kind of heavy pull behind implement that'll thoroughly pinch and chop each pad up enough that they can't grow roots.

    Anyone have any fresh ideas?

    Looks like no matter the method used, it's gonna take months to tackle it all.

    Have already learned the hard way what happens when you think your gloves are thick enough to withstand the thorns. Those teeny tiny ones just go right through and into your palms. Ouch!!



    Last edited by green and red man; 02-14-2014 at 05:35 PM.
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    What are your field conditions? I.e. Rocky or sandy? Intermittent trees? Spraying is the best method but if you are able to plow the field then a disc would work. It would probably take about a year. You would need to disc it multiple times, pretty much as soon as you see them starting to grow back. Now, I don't know what size equipment you have, and I'm referring to an offset disc with some really big plates on it with lots of weight. I've never had any luck with a shredder. They just spread them.

    Maybe one of those silage buckets would work. You could use the bottom of the bucket to cut of the cactus and then use the grapple to hold it. Then just put it all in a trailer and haul it off or stack it all up. That is just a WAG btw.

    When we clear up a field we spray and then disc. Good luck.


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    GTT's Pilot in Command (PIC) farmgirl19's Avatar
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    I've only found one way that really gets rid of them, and that is grubbing them out. If there are more than a few, or more than a few acres, if you have cattle on the pastures, you can use a pear burner, and let the cattle graze on them, once thorns are burned off. Time consuming, but is a food source, with our drought and at least knocks them down. And it is good exercise walking along burning them!
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    green and red man's Avatar
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    The soil is sandy with some rock in certain areas. The idea of scooping them out and loading on a trailer sounds feasible.

    Thanks for the suggestions.



    The man who wins is the one who thinks he can.


    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

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    GTT's Pilot in Command (PIC) farmgirl19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by green and red man View Post
    The soil is sandy with some rock in certain areas. The idea of scooping them out and loading on a trailer sounds feasible.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
    Grub deep! My dad used to carry rock salt and pour that on any tuber that he couldn't get to the bottom of, same with Bullnettle. I've got to do my own digging on some prickly pear this year. I had a few that had been missed through the years. I thought only one small area had any left, but realized too late, last summer, that I had run over a couple of them with the brush hog.
    If man had enough horse sense to treat his wife like a Thoroughbred, she'd never grow into an old nag.

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    green and red man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmgirl19 View Post
    Grub deep! My dad used to carry rock salt and pour that on any tuber that he couldn't get to the bottom of, same with Bullnettle. I've got to do my own digging on some prickly pear this year. I had a few that had been missed through the years. I thought only one small area had any left, but realized too late, last summer, that I had run over a couple of them with the brush hog.
    Yip, they'll spread pretty darn easy. On another place I was trying to get rid of it and Mesquite trees, I tried digging it out and burning. Don't think I got it all, even though it sure looked like it at first. If you hadn't seen all the work that went on before, you'd have trouble believing that anything was done at all by looking at it now. Hard to keep on top of it.



    The man who wins is the one who thinks he can.


    "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the government take care of him better take a closer look at the American Indian."

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