Spring burning science

Spring pasture burning is about to commence. There are several tips to follow for an effective, safe burning season.


Around Town

March 3, 2020 - 10:45 AM

Looking out my office window on a wet foggy morning sure doesn’t get me in the mood to start thinking about spring burning, but the calendar shows that it is about time. One of the projects that was started last year on the Bressner Pasture west of Yates Center and will continue for the next four years, is an early burn (March) compared to the normal burn (April) on native grass pastures.

Years of research has shown that the best time to burn native grass pastures in southeastern Kansas is around the second week of April. However, if everyone burns at the same time, it does cause a smoke management problem for some of the larger cities in our area, and that may cause a problem for all burning.

Late-spring burning effectively controls eastern red cedar, buckbush, and most other undesirable woody plants except smooth sumac. It also improves grazing distribution, because livestock seek vegetation that develops after a fire in preference to vegetation that was heavily grazed the previous season and doesn’t burn because of insufficient fuel to carry a fire.

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