Kansas range managers confront tenacious old world bluestem – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Kansas range managers confront tenacious old world bluestem

Frontier Extension District will host an informational meeting on old world bluestem, 7 p.m. Nov. 29, 2021, at the Osage City Community Building, 307 S. First St., Osage City, Kan.

Old world bluestem includes cultivars of Caucasian and Yellow bluestem, species first introduced into the United States for conservation purposes and as forage that could be hayed or grazed. Though called bluestems, they are not closely related to native species of big and little bluestem. Old world bluestems are an invasive species in Kansas. They can be controlled, but control becomes progressively more difficult and expensive the longer the grass is allowed to grow and spread.

During the meeting, Dr. Walt Fick, KSU range management specialist, will discuss old world bluestems, where they come from, why they were introduced, how they can be identified, and grazing animal performance. Fick will also talk about studies he has conducted to reduce or kill old world bluestems in native grass pastures.

Also speaking will be Scott Marsh, Kansas Department of Agriculture noxious weed director, who will explain the state’s views on old world bluestem and the requirements of a county option noxious weed law. He will also discuss how a county option noxious weed would affect local producers.

Rod Schaub, Frontier Extension District agent, and Bruno Pedreira, KSU forage specialist, will share the first year’s results of their herbicide application study. This study will continue the next couple of years under a grant received by the Osage County Conservation District.

For more information, contact Schaub at 785-828-4438, rschaub@ksu.edu, or Frontier Extension District, 128 W. 15th St., Lyndon, Kan.

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