Did you know that goats are meticulous eaters? They move across the landscape selectively browsing, picking out desirable pieces of forage, and combing hard to access pastures and areas for their favorite plant parts and species.
Have you heard the myth that to have good deer hunting, you need lots of trees? In the Great Plains, healthy deer populations are supported without trees. The misconception lies in the fact that most of the time people are looking for deer around trees and not out away from trees.
The top 5 woody invasive plant species in the Great Plains Grasslands include; Eastern redcedar, Honey mesquite, Chinese tallow, Ashe juniper, and Redberry juniper. Past brush management efforts have been unable to stop or reverse the loss of grasslands at county, state, or regional scales. Traditional management efforts have assumed that there are tolerable levels of the top five woody pests in grasslands before encroachment becomes a resource concern and mechanical or chemical removal of woody plants will restore a site back to a grassland. Scientists are now recommending more integrated approaches for dealing with woody species and ending the reinvasion cycle in grasslands.
In a recent study, the Army Research Laboratory in N.M. and the USDA ARS’s Jornada Experimental Range, used 100 years of measurements of perennial grass growth to identify how climate controls changes in grass cover.
Have you seen the latest Pocket Guide from the Great Plains Grasslands Extension Partnership? This Pocket Guide integrates new guidelines for reducing woody encroachment with a planning process. It is also an important resource that further incorporates the latest, science-based approaches for reducing woody encroachment.
One of the biggest confusion points in brush management is the decision between removing, reducing, or manipulating woody plants. Past management decisions have addressed the symptoms of woody encroachment but not the root cause of the problem. To contribute to the efforts to confront the loss of grasslands at county and state, clarity is needed on which woody species need complete removal versus species who can be reduced or manipulated without the threat of grassland loss.
We are excited to announce that Drs. Morgan Treadwell, Melissa Shehane, and Ben Wu will be continuing education and extension Prairie Project efforts after receiving a $1.5 million grant from the USDA-NIFA Extension, Education and USDA Climate Hubs Partnership program area priority within AFRI’s Foundational and Applied Science Program to support a project titled, “Promoting Climate-Smart Agricultural Practice to Reduce Risk and Impacts of Drought, Wildfire and Woody Encroachment on Livestock Production.”
Did you know that 22.4 million tons of rangeland production are lost annually in the Great Plains to woody encroachment? Or that The Great Plains accounts for approximately 95% of the nation’s lost rangeland production to woody encroachment?