A panel discussion on the best options for managing invasive plant species on rangeland topped the agenda at the final KLA/Kansas State University Ranch Management Field Day in the 2018 series. During the August 16 event in Linn County, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Rangeland Management Specialist Dane Varney, K-State Range Management Specialist Walt Fick and rancher Greg Christiansen suggested various control methods, including herbicide use, prescribed burning and using goats to intensively graze unwanted brush. Fick specifically mentioned now is a good time to treat sericea lespedeza as it is beginning to bloom.
“Sericea can be difficult to control with grazing, mowing or burning alone. Most often, a herbicide application will be necessary,” he told the 115 in attendance at the field day hosted by Loma Land & Cattle near La Cygne. He recommended herbicide be applied to any remaining sericea four to six weeks after grazing termination or mowing.
Fick also mentioned the effectiveness of goats in managing the invasive species. The Robert Thayer family, owners of the host ranch, utilize this method with the help of Christiansen, who provides the goats. Christiansen said these animals can thrive on invasive brush and weeds, therefore eliminating much of the expense of mechanical and chemical control for ranchers.
Another topic on the field day agenda included a discussion on CattleTrace, the new traceability pilot project launched by KLA, K-State and the Kansas Department of Agriculture. KLA Chief Executive Officer Matt Teagarden explained the project is designed to test the potential for an end-to-end disease traceability system that operates at the speed of commerce. Teagarden said participants will submit three data points on each animal in the project, including identification number, location and date and time.
More coverage from the field day will appear in the Kansas Stockman magazine. Bayer Animal Health and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas sponsored the field day.