The Penn State extension office offers great advice when it comes to fall harvest.
Without warning you can come across a slew of poisonous plants that are unsafe for you and your livestock. Are you prepared to identify these?
# Jimsonweed — The entire plant is poisonous (seeds are most toxic). Poisoning symptoms includes thirst, mood swings, convulsions, coma and death. The poisonous principles are solanaceous alkaloids.
# Milkweeds — The entire plant is poisonous. Poisoning symptoms includes depression, muscle tremors, spasms, bloat and difficult breathing. The poisonous principles are glycosides and galitoxin.
# Nightshade species (eastern black nightshade, horsenettle, groundcherry ) — Vegetation and unripe fruit are most poisonous and wilted leaves are especially toxic. Berry contamination in soybean grain is more of a quality issue resulting from staining and mold. Poisoning symptoms include loss of appetite, salivation, weakness, trembling and paralysis. The poisonous principle is solanine which reportedly is destroyed by cooking, but ensiling probably does not reach a high enough temperature.
# Pokeweed — The entire plant is poisonous, especially the roots, shoots and unripe berries. Berry toxicity decreases as they mature. Poisoning symptoms include gastrointestinal cramps, weakened pulse, respiration and salivation. The poisonous principles are saponins, phytolaccine and alkaloid phytolaccotoxin and glycoproteins.
It is important to take the time to educate yourself on these plants and examine your fields often. Missing these plants in your fields can cause great harm to your animals.. and finances.
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