Beef Buzz News
Good Time To Reclaim Pastures from Eastern Redcedar Trees
Thu, 19 Feb 2015 14:38:01 CST
Throughout the Southern Plains you will find eastern redcedar trees and in many locations a lot of them. These trees aren't just taking up pastureland, many times they are also competing for resources, especially water. Oklahoma State University Extension Livestock Market Economist Dr. Derrell Peel said if landowners cleaned up the eastern redcedar tree problem, pastures would have a lot better carrying capacity. Radio Oklahoma Network Farm Director Ron Hays featured Peel on the Beef Buzz feature. Click or tap on the LISTEN BAR below to listen to today's program.
Ron Hays Beef Buzzes with Dr. Derrell Peel of OSU
While Oklahoma has several million acres that are severely encroached with redcedar trees, there has not been a widespread effort to control the invasive species. Peel has found producers can have 100 percent grazing loss to cedar trees, when those acres become full encroached.
Unfortunately the incentives have not been strong enough for landowners to control these trees. Peel said controlling redcedars offers more benefits than just to the private landowner, as there is a public benefit in reducing wildfire risk to other landowners and homeowners, along with reducing public health issues, such as allergies.
With strong cattle prices, Peel believes the economic incentives are now present for producers to control the cedar trees. By getting a grazing management plan in place, he believes producers could keep the invasive trees under control. Even with lingering drought, Peel believes producers could increase their cow-carrying capacity in parts of Oklahoma and it's a good land management practice that could pay producers with some big dividends.
"I think you could add a significant number of cows and be in a more stable forage situation, from the stand point of managing through droughts and so on, if you had those pastures in better shape and a management plan to keep them that way," Peel said.
The Oklahoma Forestry Services Department, part of the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture has this FAQ document on eastern redcedar trees. You can access that information, by clicking here.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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