LATE-SEASON BURNING PROVES BENEFICIAL IN
SERICEA LESPEDEZA CONTROL
Preliminary results from a four-year research project at Kansas State University show prescribed burning late in the growing season provides substantial control of sericea lespedeza. K-State Beef Cattle Nutrition and Management Specialist K C Olson said while using fire in August and September seems to stress sericea and cut the plant’s seed production, native grasses are not disturbed by a late burn.
Spring-burned sericea produced about 350 to 370 seeds per plant, said Olson. In contrast, sericea burned August 1 averaged seven seeds per plant and sericea stands burned September 1 yielded zero seeds per plant.
If the next three years of the study continue to yield positive results, it could prove beneficial to producers using intensive early stocking systems. Olson envisions producers with large sericea populations burning after cattle are taken off grass rather than before turn-out. He anticipates there will be some sacrifice in cattle performance, but with burning costs substantially less than chemical control, the trade-off may be worth it.
“We can probably accept slightly lower steer performance if we can save $15 an acre in chemical cost,” said Olson.
KLA Vice President of Communications Todd Domer talks about how checkoff dollars recently were used to show chefs the best of beef.