Broadacre spraying of pastures is intended to reduce undesirable plants and increase grasses for livestock. This practice often results in unintended consequences, including damage and reduction of native forbs and reduced profitability. One approach to managing perceived “weedy” plants is incorporating different species of livestock into a grazing operation.
Alfalfa weevil populations are high this year, creating challenges for producers. Questions have arisen on how to get some value out of the forage by grazing it rather than putting it up for hay.
While research has shown that pollinators, specifically honey bees, can’t survive on dandelion pollen alone, this doesn’t mean that the dandelions aren’t still important for pollinators.
Volunteer trees can hinder the development of desirable wildlife habitat and livestock resources. Early control of volunteer woody species is the simplest and most cost-effective option for maintaining open grassland habitats.
Under what circumstances would removal of mature shelterbelts be warranted? This is a common question often asked in wildlife and conservation circles.
Livestock will graze Canada goldenrod, Canada thistle and perennial sow thistle. At certain times of the year, these plants have crude protein, total digestible nutrients, and invitro dry matter digestibility concentrations similar to alfalfa and other common forages.
Noxious weed control is often a long-term process. In some cases, chemical application may be deemed necessary, but it should always be considered in the context of appropriate management and an integrated best management framework.
Weed competition can cause significant yield reduction in pulse crops. Pulse crops are weak competitors with weeds, therefore planning an effective weed control program is one of the keys to profitable production.
The issue of cedar tree invasion into South Dakota’s rangelands tends to be a regional conversation. There is generally broad agreement among most resource professionals that these trees are in fact changing our landscape in a negative way.