Forage Management Online Resource Center

Today's grassland managers often face native plant populations that are out of balance on the prairies and arid western landscapes. The removal of fire and other human activities have allowed aggressive brush and woody species to dominate what were once open grasslands or savannas. Today’s ranchers must manage these species. Dow AgroSciences contributes to this important task by providing effective weed and brush control products, research that shows how to use them safely and efficiently, and educational services for the ranching and research communities.

The most common scenarios where a plant species grows out of control and disrupts the biological balance require unique approaches and solutions. Where invasive species take over and create monocultures, a planned, persistent program will help gradually and methodically thin the problem to insignificance. When trees, shrubs and other brush take over grazing areas, a plant that integrates herbicides, prescribed burns and follow-up treatments is the best approach to reclaiming the land.

Invasive Species

Protecting Our Natural Resources

Invasive and noxious plants threaten to create a monoculture — where one plant dominates an area — choking out native plant species, including desirable forage grasses. These monocultures can change grazing and wildlife habitats so livestock and other animals no longer can utilize the area. These aggressive competitors threaten native ecosystems by adapting to a wide range of environmental conditions, lowering water levels and spreading until they become the dominant species.

Invasive species management tactics must consider the site surroundings and desirable vegetation. Selective herbicides control invasive and noxious species while promoting native plants. Although mechanical methods can be used to manage certain invasive plants, alone these techniques often cause more damage to an area than herbicides and can open areas to new invasion of other invasive and noxious plants. As part of an integrated management program, herbicides can help restore, protect and enhance rangeland, pastures and habitat areas.

Woody Plants & Brush

Restore Land Overrun by Brush

Nothing can reduce range and pasture productivity quicker than weeds. But woody species harm grazing land in many of the same ways. Trees and shrubs compete with native and improved grasses, threaten land values and slice cattle carrying capacity. Some woody species, including sericea lespedeza and tropical soda apple, act much like invasive weeds, growing dense and thick to crowd out desirable grasses. Thorny species, such as locust, blackberry and multiflora rose, can injure livestock and prevent uniform grazing. Other woody plants, like big sagebrush, require so much water that they can impact stream flows and disrupt ecosystem diversity. And in the case of saltcedar — another notorious water user — it actually changes soil pH levels to prevent growth of desirable vegetation.

Trees, shrubs and other woody plants tend to sneak up on land managers. They start small, spread in from fence lines and pasture perimeters, and scatter across grazing areas. Slowly but surely, these plants grow and mature. Eventually, they canopy and block sunlight. Grasses and other desirable plants cease growth. Production drops, wildlife move on and property values tumble. Obviously, it's most economical to stop encroaching brush early. But you can reclaim land lost to weeds and brush. And you can do so more economically than buying or renting more grazing land. Plus, it's the right thing to do for the land resource. Your Dow AgroSciences Range & Pasture Specialist can help you design an integrated land reclamation program suited to your individual operation and long-term goals.

Legal Requirements

Label precautions apply to forage treated with Milestone and to manure from animals that have consumed treated forage within the last three days. Consult the label for full details.

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