Ragwort control is an ongoing procedure which should be carried out yearly. The seeds of the plant lie dormant in the ground for many years, and new plants start to grow each spring.
I have tried spraying, digging and pulling, with the most successful method being to spray the plant at the rosette stage, as shown in the photo. I have used specialist ragwort sprays and everyday garden sprays, each have satisfactorily destroyed the plant.
The foliage is most dangerous as it dies so it is important to remove animals during this period, for approximately 10 days. If the land cannot be rested then ‘digging’ out the plant may be your preferred method. It is important that the root is removed otherwise the plant will grow back. The use of a fork to get under the plant does the job. I always wear gloves to avoid the plant coming into contact with my skin.
The third method of ‘pulling’ the mature plant at the flowering stage is, I believe, the least successful. However, it does eradicate the plant’s ability to cast its seeds. I have found that the root will nearly always break off allowing the plant to re-grow; also the pulled plant must be destroyed.
If the paddocks are topped regularly the growth cycle of the plant will be broken and they will be eradicated, this may be your easiest option of all.