Cultural Control of whitetop
(Cardaria draba)

Sheep and Goats: Sheep will eat whitetop especially as seedlings.  Sheep and Goats mostly were found to eat the weed when it was among plants but when whitetop was found in dense groups by itself the animals were more reluctant to eat the plant.  Still both animals prefer to eat the young easier digested plant. (2,4)

Tilling (Plowing):  A combination of tilling and mowing with continual pulling has been know to be effective.  If the plant has been tilled then retilled after the shoots from the roots begin to appear again the weed becomes exhausted and tends to die. (2)

Hand Pulling: Hand pulling is only minimally effective as you have to remove the entire root with the plant because the plant can regenerate from the roots. (1,3)

Mowing: If whitetop is moved to the ground before the plant is able to seed then mowing is an effect form of cultural control. (3)

Controlled Burning:  Controlled burning is temporally effective but as whitetop regrows from root usually grows back. (1)

Seeding/Reseeding: Whitetop tends to die out as you seed grass or alfalfa in the area and the whitetop eventually will be out commuted for soil moisture.  Seeding therefore is an effective way to control whitetop. (1,3)

Grazing Methods: Grazing is not a very good way of cultural controlling the noxious weed as this plant contains a subsistence that most plants in the mustard family contain called glucosinolate glycosides.  This molecule is known to effect the way the body absorbs iodine if enough is eaten. (1)


Literature Cited:
    1) Whitetop or Hoary Cress,  Elpel, Thomas J.,  Available (online)
    2) Element Stewardship Abstract for Card aria draba, Kelly E. Lyons, Barry A. Meyers,
        Available (online)
    3) Weeding-Out Whitetop, Roger Sheley, Available (online)
    4) Toppling Tall Whitetop, Agricultural Research, Available (online)

Jim Thorne and Toby Marx, 3/4/04      -      Updated by Colton Parker, 2/25/09

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