The last time I was hunting NW Kansas we had thuder and lightning in a snow squall!! Nothing as strange as the ground covered in a dusting of snow and watching the prairie grass burn from a lightning strike. I would of took pics but the winds were 70 mph and I was trying to get out of Dodge in my Dodge!! Shawn
A lot of weight to put on calves and cattle too. It will be of benefit to a multitude of other wildlife. The burning and rejuvenation of the prairie has been a natural occurrence since the dawn of creation.
Yeah....good luck with that KDHE and Dept. of Ag? I doubt much less will be burned than normal years. However, to reduce density of burning at a given time it might be spread out more this year and thus burning season drawn out longer than usual?
Yep I am all for burning every 3 or 4 years but needs to be done in Feb. - mid March. Read an article from kstate a few weeks back on burning at the correct time and how burning when the prairie is becoming active is devasting to wildlife. I am not a farmer or biologist but seems like April is a little late.
Crestedbutte- Typically the accidental burn from lightning did not burn entire counties from highway to highway. Also cattle were not put on it while it was still smoldering or greening up. Buffalo would pass through, and the natural browse could grow and proliferate without overgrazing after the burn. It's a proven fact that we have lost multiple ground nesting species and wildflowers. K-state's ten year study showed the loss of the greater prairie chicken in the Flint Hills was directly caused by burning and overgrazing. OSU did a study that showed you can continue to burn as usual but implement patch burning instead which several ranches around here started doing. Every time I hunt the Smoky Hills, I see dozens more meadow larks, chicken, and quail. No burning up there but now they have a cedar problem that not everyone is addressing.
If you have issues with allergies this time of year due to just being Spring, molds & pollens in the air, burning or even in the Fall due to harvest....you can’t go wrong with a daily teaspoon of localized Bee Pollen and Raw Honey! I have been on this for 2 yrs now and have had no allergy, sinus or breathing issues since.
Throughout my life, I notoriously had bad allergy/sinus issues and would be hacking up crap and drainage when I woke up in the mornings and in evenings before bed and sometimes in the middle of the night too. I would also usually get sick about 2 times/year due to allergy/sinus infections.
Since being on this regiment the last 2 yrs, I have had no allergy/sinus sicknesses. More importantly my breathing and airways are clear as a bell and no need to always clear my throat of all that drainage and crap. At an avg. $7 a bottle and being cheaper than over the counter manuf. drugs like Claritin each $7 bottle lasts me about 2-3 mos.
If you have issues, give it a try. I hope it works for you like it has me!
Catscratch- Funny thing you posted a pic of a migratory bird to support that garbage. I'm talking about resident, ground nesting birds that practically no longer exist in the Flint Hills. I'm not talking about birds that migrate in and use the lush green pastures after all the damage and carnage has been done.
Article on decline of Greater Prairie Chickens due to burning clear back in 2002:
Thorton, did you read the article you linked? It supported my post 100% in that the prairie needs strip burned in 2-3 year (and sometimes longer) intervals. Your article was very clear in that annual burns and double stocking cattle were the downfall of the Prairie Chicken. Not sure why you would call my article garbage and then counter it with an article that says the exact same thing? Also a little confused on why most of what you wrote in response to Crestedbutte also coincides with my post... but my post is garbage?
I agree with you Westksbowhunter in that burning too late is a bad thing. Your article references late April as a traditional time to burn and suggests Feb/March as more appropriate times. We are just now leaving March so maybe splitting hairs on timing, maybe not and this it too late.
Just to be clear, we had no intentions of burning this year due to State recommendations (even though that particular pasture pictured hadn't been burned for 6 or 8yrs) but when the neighbor texted and said his fire had gotten onto our place we let it go. Didn't think it was worth calling the fire department in as it was contained and not going anywhere. I can't remember a year that we burned more than 1/4 of the place. Always rotate and leave habitat in various stages of succession. Of course that plan is garbage...
No doubt there is always good and bad with almost all that we do as humans. I know where I hunt, my Flinthills rancher buddy doesn't over graze (even though he easily could if he wanted). Instead he buys more land from neighbors that are selling out in order to increase more head of cattle. With that comes more huntable acres for me to bowhunt. I know he burns every year but not sure if it is always all of it or if he rotates burning?
Last night we burned (2) 320 acre pastures that are directly connected to each other. That just scratched the surface of what he has. He plans to burn much more of it in the coming weeks but all of it I am not sure?
Crested - I had no idea you could buy local bee pollen. I've heard from many people that honey works for allergies though.
I just got my first bee hive in an attempt to help pollinators. I don't plan on harvesting much of their honey, but probably will get enough for the family from time to time. I have wild bees (I see them in the wildflowers I'm propagating) but I have no idea where the hive is. I'm hoping they swarm/split this year and take up residency in my hive. If not I'll look for a local source of bees.
Matte I would say your timing was perfect. A friend of mine, a retired KDWP biologist, burned his several weeks ago. Crested there is more to wildlife than deer. Unfortunately a majority of landowners and unfortunately our governing agency, only has deer in mind. Much more to the prairie than deer. I know you mentioned that burning has been around since the dawn of time. But since the dawn of time habitat has changed in Kansas, especially in the last 40 years. That is why the prairie chickens have vanished. If we want them back or the few left to flourish, practices may need to change. It might have been great when our great grandparents were stewards of the land but that doesn't mean it is now. I tried the bee pollen and everything else, didn't work me and many others. Weekly allergy injections and carrying the epipen is my way of life.
Catscratch....yeah the bee pollen is indeed available locally. I have a source (about 10 miles east of where I live) that is much, much closer than the Wilson, KS source in the pic above. I prefer to use that one for both bee pollen and raw honey but I have also had same results from the Wilson, KS products pictured.
West....I agree much more to the prairie than deer....and hunt, take pictures of and enjoy many more species than just deer. Weekly allergy injections and carrying around a pen is some serious stuff. Hope you never have the need for that pen. Take Care!
Keepemsharp, yes my neighbor does and I've seen it more times than I could count here in the Flint Hills. There is always green fescue and brome that doesn't burn in the creek bottoms. It's enough to sustain the cattle for the two weeks it takes for the burnt stuff to shoot up.
Spoke with a guy who burned in July one year. I won’t mention his name but probably knows more about prairie than anyone I know. To summarize his reasoning... variation in timing of the burn is a good thing. He was pretty firm on the every 3 to 4 years though.
I’m in my 4th year of a prairie project I did with KDWPT. They told me it was a failure after the first year... I had been checking it repeatedly and I just laughed. I had a decent stand of native grass come up... not perfect, but I knew it was better than most I’ve done. Just had to look for it. I was pretty frustrated I lost my cost share, but I wasn’t going to argue with the biologist. I’ve seen “failures” turn into a great restoration many times.
I was planning on burning it this Spring, but we have been soaked for almost a year and a half now.
So Thorton.... you never did answer my questions. I still want to know why my article that says burning on a 2-3 (or longer) interval with patches left unburned is garbage, and yours (that says the same) isn't?
Along the same topic (what's good for wildlife in the prairie)... I fear the yearly cropdusting of pasture with broadleaf herbicides is far more harmful than the occasional burn will ever be. Many of our neighbors do it. They have great grass, no encroach of woody species, and sericea is under control... but other forbs are vanishing quickly. I doubt most bird species are going to do well with the seed and insects associated with broadleafs vanishing. Any of you guys seeing the same thing? Is it widespread or just in my area?
I am seeing the same thing, mainly because I have had to spray three years in a row due to a serecia invasion, Remedy Ultra is non-selective in killing broadleafs/forbs, and you are right IMO that this is detrimental to wildlife, including deer not just birds.
I try to do a light disking to stimulate the seed bank, but fear I am just bringing the serecia back up.
I know it's not accidental and you are right in grass being great for organic matter. Ranchers are getting beautiful stands of grass, but what does it do long term when legumes and other plants are eradicated... plants that fixate nitrogen, mine minerals, and harbor beneficial bacteria and fungi? It makes sense to me that diversity is good for longevity and reduced inputs. I see cattle use less free mineral in pastures with chicory overseeded in them. I'm not a fan of monocultures for prairie/pasture. It is hard though to fight the invasives without blanket coverage.
I have lived in the Flint Hills for over 60 years and still enjoy seeing the annual burns. Kstate now promoting earlier burns is not surprising. Several years ago Kstate encouraged later burning as in early May. So it depends on who you believe which is best. Whether you like it or not the burning is going to continue. The extra weight gained on pastures that have been burned opposed to ones that have not will see to that. Any rancher will tell you they have significant better gains on pastures that have been burned.
Yeah...all these conflicting reports from K-State academia over the years makes me think of when medical experts say eggs and wine are bad for you, then they say they are good for you, then they say....
Trying to mimic what nature did seems a great strategy since the ground became so fertile from centuries of NG and irregular burns caused by lightning strikes. Add in bison hooves tearing the soil allowing for forb/weed/broadleaf to obtain foothold...
It’s not for everyone....you gotta be a “real” man to get that pollen down without water! However, it is easier for some to wash it down with something when taking. I snort it so not sure what that makes me, HA!
BS on "lightning strike burns for centuries". I've seen ONE lightning strike burn on a pasture in my lifetime and it started when a tank battery was hit. No doubt they happened, but not as frequent as you guys think. Buffalo moved through grasslands. Common sense and history tell you they did not stay in an area long when the grass was gone and they could move miles in a day to greener pastures. This allowed regrowth. Greedy ranchers are to blame with yearly burning and overstocking cattle. I had a patient today and her and her husband just sold their 6,000 acres near Cambridge. They never saw a chicken in the decades they owned it. This is absolutely obsurd. My grandfather owned a few hundred acres north of there in the 1950's that had hundreds of chickens. Constant grazing and burning have eliminated wild forbs and wildflowers that once grew abundantly. Burning should be regulated by the government as it is in other states. Not to mention, the millions of dollars in insurance money required to hospital patients that are treated due to pre-existing lung problems that flare up during burning season. The covey of 12 quail living on my back 40 acres did not reproduce after I did a late burn last April.
Lots of published papers, some peer reviewed, that document the thousand of years of historical relationship between lightning strike caused fires and burning of NG. Natives also intentionally set fires.
My housing development opened in 1999, and there are maybe 55 homes in a rural setting of 3-12 acre lots. Two homes have been hit by lightning strikes, completely destroying one to the foundation and causing extensive damage to the other. I personally have been close to a tree hit by lightning on two occasions, both erupting in flames, one during an intense rain shower. I don't extrapolate either of these personal experiences as typical, just like I suggest you not draw the conclusion because you observed one neighbor put cattle on smoldering pasture that is typical behavior.
I used the word irregular for a reason, meaning not a predictable, or not a cyclic pattern as what we observe today with prescribed burns all too often. The irregular strikes, natives starting fires, the role the buffalo played no doubt left a prairie that supported a greater variety of wildlife than the pattern we observe today where the main concern all too often is beef production.
I just finished researching and writing an article for Kansas Farmer on how well summer and early fall burning does on controlling sericea. The goal is to destroy the seeds before they hit the ground.
One ranch had tried spraying for about 30 years with limited success on the sericea but had noticed major damage to native forbs and legumes. With August and September burns they've reduced sericea by 80-percent, and forbs have increased three-fold. The rancher also said he got better kills on brush and trees with the later burns, too. The later burns allow young birds to easily get out of the way of fire. Since he does patch burning, they still have healthy pastures for habitat. It's anecdotal, but he thinks he's seen a nice increase in greater prairie chicken, bobwhite quail, meadow lark and other ground nesting bird numbers.
He, and K-State and other ag-state researchers, say 90 percent of historical prairie fires were in July, Aug and Sept, when fuel load was high, humidity down and grasses usually dry.
Writer, your post duplicates a lot of what I've been reading. I've wanted to do some fall burns but dry weather and seasonal winds makes it a scary proposition. When will your artcle be posted?
Thorton, one of my neighbors just sold a bunch of land (near Cambridge), I hope it's not the same person. I'll call them today and see if they are doing ok. I've witnessed chickens on their hilltop as well as mine every year for a couple of decades. Not huntable numbers and I certainly wish there were more though. The young man who bought part of that ranch called me a month ago super excited because he had just seen his first chickens... and they were on his place! He has a spark for wildlife and hunting. I think he'll favor ecology over greed. Speaking of greed... I'm not sure I would call most ranchers greedy, most that I know are trying to survive. Or they made a fortune elsewhere and took up ranching out of interest.
Also, any reply on calling my post garbage and then posting the same info? I'm still curious how you justify doing that? :)
Thanks. MDC's PLC for my area suggested we try it a few years ago. I did not notice a reduction in serecia myself, but maybe I need to do it multiple years in a row. I agree, spraying has shown limited success. I do try and time it before seed drop, but the grass can be tall enough by then that is shades some of the serecia.
I will try burning part this Fall and part next spring again. I have HEL, the grass is basically all on a hilltop so not only is this a risk for erosion in the Fall but leaves me with little cover for winter. Sure wish I had more than 120 acres, smaller parcels bring their own challenges sometimes in managing properly.
I will post a picture of a publication written by UT Extension. One of the authors, Craig Harper, was/is really great at answering emails regarding questions. This manual describes the benefits of burning late summer/fall such as doing better at killing woody brush. This manual was instrumental into my beginning to manage for NG. They wanted my feedback when I did several different parcels, I was really impressed with their willingness to learn when they were way ahead of most in knowledge at the time I started. They said the interest in NG really did not begin to take off until the 1980s on any significant level nationwide. A great read IMHO!
I also have a very dense stand of the taller varieties, specifically Big Blue and Indian, so my fuel load is substantial each year and that is why I said there was no trash after we burned. The heat has eliminated any woody brush in my fields.
Love sharing this stuff and learning from each other! Thanks.
I heard little about native grass plantings until .CRP got rolling.
For years, we were told that once native prairie is taken out it can never grow back. What gets planted may not be as healthy as a native stand with 3-400 different plants, but it's better for wildlife and brome and fescue.
Never been a doubt that the best way to get your wound up, Frank, are the three words - establish better habitat. It's nice you have a passion that benefits so many species in nature, not just the very few you hunt.
Thanks Mike. I actually like conservation work more than hunting, but almost afraid to admit it on this site.
The work above, or maybe Craig told me in email, that only about 1-2% of the original native grass still exists, and yes we can not replicate it with what we do today. The manual above though spends a good amount of time on how NG can be managed for ranchers and even bio-fuels. Diversity is key obviously.
Craig is why I established 12' of burn barrier around my NG, some of it in clover/rye each year and some bare dirt for birds to scratch in. Between the barrier and woods I edge feathered, about 15 yards worth. It has really helped with birds, and prey animal populations. I always have multiple hawks on our property, and end up with an eagle or two that visit regularly all winter.
This bobcat stalking a rabbit picture I posted on the BGF is a common sight as well. He is on our 4 acre clover plot, which I had 2 hay bale blinds on this year. We only used them for turkey, and this winter when I went to move one of them either this bobcat or another had a food stash in the blind. There were even feathers from a hawk or owl.
Mike, I do get wound up because we frequently read on sites like this how terrible our game departments are at managing deer, or whatever we want to hunt. My experience in both KS and MO is that these guys and gals are doing a tremendous job with limited resources and cannot focus solely on one or two species. If I had my life to do over, I would be a wildlife biologist, but probably would not own a farm because of that career choice;-) Kudos to them, and folks like yourself that help to keep us educated and knowledgeable on these topics!
I do not believe in burning each year. I try to burn every three years. We don't burn the whole property each year just parts. Our big issues are Elm and Cedars trying to overtake grassland areas. We will also be brush hogging an spraying back plum thickets that can overtake areas the size of a football field in no time.
Matte, I think you are on the right track. Fire is a natural method of controlling woody species in grasslands. If your burns aren't controlling cedars you might look at your fuel loads or burn timing. From everything I've read I think there are a couple of rules to follow; never burn everything at once (leave strips or patches), and keep variety of recovery. Maintain various chunks that are in recovery 3 to 10 yrs between burns.
On the small farm that my brothers and I own we have about 25 acres in two different CRP programs. We are required to burn it every second or third year. I would have to look at the contracts to see the exact requirements. It cannot be done between April 15th and July 15th to protect the nesting season. We burn half every year leaving the other half for the following year. This means there is always some good cover for the wildlife. Unfortunately, we still have very few quail. Some of this has been in the program for over 15 years. Thirty years ago without what would appear to be as good wildlife habitat, we would shoot as many as 75 quail in one season off the same acreage. I wish I knew what has changed. I haven't shot a quail off this property in about 5 years.
When I was on the board for Quail Unlimited(Ark Valley Chapter) back before QU went away...we offered to pay for buffer strips. We covered the seed, drill rental, and helped with the planting, but didn't have many LO's take us up on it truthfully.
Sito, just curious but were those buffer strips taking ag out of production? Most farmers I know want to plant every inch they can and hate giving up plantable ground.
When my dad bought his place the first thing he did was break up the farm ground with 50ft grass strips and tree rows. He spent quite a bit of money doing it. His quail numbers bumped up quickly but then dropped several years later when the rest of the area's numbers declined.
We asked for 20' buffers as I remember, so yes they had to take a little out of production.
We have some CRP like Lee above, our contract is to burn, or disc it every 15yrs I believe. We disc'd it a couple years ago...half one year, half the next, and the grass came back even stronger afterwards. It's in SC KS, Quail have comeback a little there but nothing like the 80's or early 90's.
I still think the biggest challenges for birds are the pre-treated/encapsulated seeds and sprayed pesticides. Kill the bugs and kill the bird population.
I am convinced you are partially correct, add in a lot more coons and other scavengers, etc, but I still believe the main problem is fragmented habitat caused by "clean" farming which has eliminated great habitat and genetically isolating many species.
For pheasants the main thing has been untimely rains. May flooded them out last year. The best pheasant hunting of my lifetime was between 2003-2010. My best years quail hunting were in the 70's up til early 80's. Prairie chickens headed south early- mid 80's. Replacing old grown up pastures and crp with food plots only benefits one species.
I have 3 coveys on my place and 2 of them I share with the neighbors. The back 40 covey are residents of my place and was 12 birds 2 years ago. Last year I burnt the tall bluestem in April and the covey did not reproduce. They were down to 8 birds all fall and winter so I did not hunt them. From now on, I will be doing patch burning to leave them a place to nest.
For those of you who doubted me on cattle placed in smoldering pastures, here it is. Lots of ranchers do it, including my idiot neighbors. They didnt even bother to take these cattle out, just set it on fire and the entire place burned by dark. 1/2 mile east of Reece turnoff north of road on hwy 54. Everything I say, I've seen in person. I may not have a study or a bunch of proof in literature, but it's true.
Our farm in Carroll county MO is surrounded by lots of CRP pastures that are allowed cattle rotations. I know this is not the Flint Hills... On every weekend in March, and including the last 2 this year in April, you can see smoke from at least four different prescribed burns from our property. We visit with many of the farms, have helped out on occasion or just offered. Not one time have we ever witnessed cattle being put back on pastures before growth occurred. Most recommend not allowing cattle to graze below 8" to protect the plants. This is MO where people are thought to not be as smart as their western neighbors.
Dave said he has burned for a long time and never seen it, yet you claim "lots" do. Am I missing something?
Habitat, I know of and see guys leave cattle on burned pasture. What I've never seen though was a rancher who treated his cattle poorly. What this usually means is extra feedings of hay and cubes on those pastures for a couple of weeks (kind of like a feedlot that has no grass can still produce gains), or significant brome and fescue that didn't burn. Most cattle guys I know are 2 things; shrewd businessmen, and animal lovers. They can't afford to treat their investment in a counterproductive manner, and they wouldn't spend their life with animals if they didn't love them (cattle are too much of a pain.in the ass!).
I am not getting into the arguments about best times to burn, not burn, animals it kills, doesn't kill, plants that thrive,dont thrive and so on. But I do have friends that send cattle out to the flint hills every year. I know that they have and still do send cattle out to pastures that are still black. They said the cattle get along just fine picking in the bottoms till it all greens up. But I would assume that depends on the pasture. I would guess some pastures it would be just fine to do it on, and others it wouldn't work at all.
That's a little different IMHO as to what Thornton implied. Pastures not entirely burnt because of wet areas and food being hauled in I can imagine happens. But the vast majority are not stupid and as said, protect their investment. Personally, I have never witnessed it. On occasion I have assisted neighbors in rotating cattle in pastures that were going to get burned.
Habitat, I'm guessing there is a lot you have not witnessed and you'll argue about it even if I provide pictures and an address to prove you wrong. I am in the Flint Hills sometimes 4 days a week doing what I love. I grew up on my dad's and grandfather's ranch, and spent many weekends and summers on a friend's ranch until I was 14. My dad raised Simentals and my grandpa had Herford's/polled Herefords or whatever he could get for a good price. There is no comparison of MO to the Flint Hills of Kansas.
Thorton, so far in the last couple weeks you have told me my posts are garbage then supported my stance, said that ranchers are greedy and have a disregard for conservation then say you grew up a rancher, blasted burning total acreage then admitted you did the same as little as a year ago (by-the-way, both biologists I talked to blamed untimely wet conditions for lack of quail nesting success last year... not burning), and then posted that you left half of your grass unburned this year which means that you have burned half of your bluestem at least two years in a row (which goes completely against the article you posted above that said burns intervals should be at least 3 years minimum). Sorry, but when you jump around like that it's hard to know when or if you are being serious.
Some odd things happen due to mother nature. Last Sat. eve we had a small narrow long front move through the North part of the county, really narrow. Sunday morning on this strip there were drifts of small hail piled up every where, the toad strangler that accompanied it put these drifts into plugging up tubes. Add on burn ground so no grass to slow down the flood it washed out lots of crossings and small creeks, a perfect storm as far as roads go.
T-roy. I proved my point by posting a pic of a pasture actively burning with cattle on it. I also posted the location and owner. That entire 960 acre pasture burned by nightfall. Doesn't take a real smart guy to understand that fire didn't miraculously go out after I took the picture.
Catscratch- For the record, I never said a thing about burning my total acreage. I said I burnt part of my back 40 (which has only 20 acres of native grass) that affected the reproduction of my resident covey of quail. The two coveys on my front 40 seemed to do fine and nothing was burnt. I also never said I grew up a rancher but did grow up on ranches. I also said that OSU determined patch burning was much more beneficial for yearly burns instead of burning entire pastures road to road every year. All that being said, My tiny acreage does not host any chickens. They were all burned out/grazed out of my area in the 1980's according to my aging resident neighbors and only used my place for a feed field in cold months.
I'd disagree on that statement as well. My mother's little dog has a chronic collapsing trachea. We took him to K-State after our small town vet had already diagnosed him. K-State ran up high costs in tests just to confirm his diagnosis. I asked for a total cost for the surgery and the resident physician kept going up on his price. Becoming suspicious I questioned him in depth, I discovered he had lied to me , and had actually never done the procedure. He also failed to adequately described the radiology findings. After hearing good things about Stillwater, I ran the dog down there. I found out they are leading the science on tracheal collapse and have perfected the procedure for half the price. The young female resident was far more knowledgeable and descriptive on the subject, and actually advised me not to do the procedure. The dog is still doing fine despite a cough on exertion. I never would have guess such good service would have come out of a crappy brick building in Stillwater Ok.
Yay! I finally got a response from you (Thorton) on why my study is garbage and your's isn't; I didn't read it and made an assumption sums it up... I'll summarize it; the study was done where that ground nesting bird nests. The study said the same thing your study said (I actually read the study you posted) in regards to periodic burning in patches.
You don't know why I kept bringing it up? It is because you called me out and it was obvious you didn't know what you were talking about. If you would have admitted then that you didn't read the article and made an assumption I would have dropped it... but you wouldn't do it. Now you're PMing me about it. Since you started this publicly I want to keep it public. I won't be returning your PMs but will gladly respond to you on this thread.
I do want you to know that I miss Prairie Chickens greatly also, and support efforts to bring them back. In some ways we are similar.
Dude, quit whining. If you want to attach your very being to a damn article I didn't even bother reading in it's entirety, then so be it. I didn't call you out, I said the article you posted was garbage. Stop bitching about it.
I'm not the one whining here. I simply asked a very direct and pointed question until I got an answer. Your PM told me everything I needed to know. I'm completely satisfied and won't ask you again. Hope you have a good evening.
A snake a saw crossing the highway while on my run this morning. Looks like burn wounds to me. One of the consequences, and benefits of fire in the prairie. The destruction rejuvenates life fresh with new growth and setbacks. The prairie needs this once in a while or it is overtaken by succession and turns into a cedar/hedge/plum/coralberry thicket. The great thing about periodic and patchy burns is that not everything is wiped out at once and survivors can start over... in the ecosystem they were meant for. I know you guys all know these things, but watching the snake for a few minutes gave me time to think about it's perspective and surroundings, and our influence.
I doubt he does either, but I just left it up to mother nature and we both went on our way.
I haven't looked at regulations for a while but there's a lot you are not supposed to do with a drone. Incidentally spooking deer and backing out vs chasing them would be hard to prove either way. Probably a law or regulation that covers that written down somewhere.
He/she "piloted" in right after those deer, and then edited out what happened next on purpose I imagine. Drones are cool, we use one on occasion for work, but the law is very clear on pursuit/harassment of wildlife with motorized devices/vehicles.
Here is that pasture 6 days later and everything burnt around it on the neighbors as well. The cattle were on it the entire time, but the green grass is already sprouting with the recent rains. I've seen serecea lespedeza actually spread after a bluestem pasture was burnt. Someone on here mentioned last year burning can cause it to germinate.
Fall burns help control Sericea better than spring burns (according to K-State). We've missed all the recent rains. It's been a few weeks since we've gotten moisture. I'm hopeful for a gentle soaker by Wednesday.
Jason - next time you're in that area, take a look at some of the pastures on the Woodson Wildlife Area. They've really adjusted burning and grazing patterns to help put the prairie back to what it was like, historically, They've documented 220 native prairie plant species. A decade ago there was little diversity. It's impressive how long seeds will stay in the soil, waiting for the right conditions or how far they can be spread by cattle and wildlife.
My stance on burning has always been that it's good if done periodically and in patches or strips.
Aerial spraying for broadleafs is another story. I watched the cropduster fly by my place for 3 weeks straight this spring. Carpet bombing 1000's and 1000's of acres to remove all broadleafs and forbs. A few of the older trees survive if they are the right species, weaker trees don't make it. No seed producing forbs, no legumes, no pollinators or predatory insects, no woody browse. I truly feel this make a bigger impact than any burning rotation.
More destruction of the prairie. 777 Ranch and the Dunne Ranch appeared to be doing "prescribed burning" today near Rosalia. Note the cattle next to the fire that a few guys on here didnt believe happens.
I saw the smoke, but did not realize it was that far South. Perhaps they are trying to control Sericea. I know late summer burning is used for that purpose. If this invasive plant is not controlled it will destroy a pasture. It does seem to be early for Sericea control. I have been told that early September is the best time for a burn of this type.
So they burned both spring AND fall? I don't think I've ever seen that before. How many years in a row have they done this?
I can't imagine they would have enough fuel after running cattle on that pasture during this dry summer, but maybe they've had more rain than we had where I'm at and their stocking rates could be pretty low.
I was not flying this evening but wished I would have. I went out to lob some 6.5 mm bullets at a thousand yards and went fishing. This is the third year they've done a late burn. They had the timing all wrong last two years and the grass didn't recover in time for winter and a lot of erosion and loss of habitat occurred. I suppose I'd be in favor of the late burn if they patch burned and didnt do a spring burn. On a happier note, I visited a pond that is calling the attention of my fly rod next time I go.
Writer, thanks for the link. Good write-up! I've read plenty of articles and studies that show the importance of fall burns through diversity created, reduction of invasives, and increased nesting habitat. I feel a reduction of herbicide use would be a huge benefit to wildlife (and ranchers) also. My question was specific to the pasture in the photos. It was posted that they burn it both spring and fall which I had never heard of. Made me curious as to what they were doing on that ranch.
Those big sunfish can be a joy on fly-poppers on a hot evening...as you obviously know. Used to fish a pond waaayyyyy back in a Greenwood County pasture where those were the dominant predator. Caught several 10" and a few pushing 11" They'd really tow a float tube.
I'm looking forward to it. I still have the first Eagle Claw fly rod I bought with $20 at the first auction I ever bid at as a young boy. Have the auto reel somewhere but it currently has a Battenkill on it. Dad used to have a small drainage pond behind one of our big ones when I was a kid and it was loaded with "black perch" as us locals called them. He always talked about the time we filled a bucket with those bluegill during a thunderstorm.
Tried burning some NG yesterday that had been burned in the Spring. Used my drip torch. It would not take. Maybe it is drier where you are at Thornton? Or maybe the rancher is patch burning and the stuff he is doing now was not burned this past Spring and what you saw was a different patch?
It is the time of year to burn Brome. A lot of it has started to be burnt locally. The National Park has burnt some pasture the last couple of weeks. They seem to burn at different times of the year. Sometimes in the fall or winter. I am going to burn my CRP as soon as weather permits. The contract does not allow anything to be done from 4-15 to 7-15 to protect the nesting period of quail. I believe the 7-15 date is too early. I know quail often hatch after 7-15.
I wouldn't burn NG in August unless you don't want any height back that year.It all depends on what you want to accomplish as far as if weed control or if just burning old to get rid of it for new grass to grow.If weed control they have to green up some to kill them.I will be burning all my NWSG in next few weeks.I will say when burning don't forget to follow the laws and remember to think if the ground is too wet to fight the fire if you do let it get out of control.Always have a back up plan
I burned off 320 acres in west central Ks last week. After letting the back fire burn for 30 minutes or so we then lit the main fire with three of us dragging torches while riding four wheelers. It was a mile wide and 1/2 mile long. After the main fire was lit, it was over in about 20 minutes. This property is tall grass, mostly pheasant cover.
My brother and I burnt about 15 acres of our 30 acres of CRP buffer strips on Friday afternoon. I did find one drop after the burn. I saw 9 quail from one of the coveys I was feeding during the artic blast last month. We burn half of our CRP buffer strips every year leaving half of them for wildlife cover. Unfortunately. it does not seem to helping the quail.
Last Wednesday the brome fields that join my sisters 10 acres burnt. Apparently, they did not make sure everything was out. On Thursday she came home from a short trip to town to see that the previous burn had blown up and was racing across her pasture. She quickly called 911 and was told they had just received a call. The sheriff showed up and suggested she get her vehicles out of her garage and park them in a safe place. When the fire truck got there she said her house was not in danger but ask them to save her well house and not worry about another small outbuilding in a small tree grove on her property. Mean time the fire was dangerously close to her new neighbors place. She drove over there and found the mother with 4 kids 2 dogs and 2 chickens in their car. She told them to came to her place for a while as it was now safe there. The fire got with feet of the propane tank before it could be stopped. It then jumped the road and destroyed some old outbuildings on another property before it could be stopped. This could have been a lot worse. This is just a reminder to be careful when doing a burn.
It can get away fast. I was burning leaves the other night, and a few minutes later noticed one of the trees lit up like Christmas. It had cracked at the fork and the middle had rotted and dried out. Some of the upper trunks were ventilated by woodpeckers, and it went up fast.
I’ve burnt literally thousands of acres in my life... thousands. Wheat stubble, CRP, prairies, brush piles.
You can never be too safe and if you second guess anything then don’t do it and ALWAYS have an escape plan. Never go it alone if it’s a big fire and NEVER assume the fire is out.
Not trying to sound like a “know-it-all”. One too many close calls in my life, almost lost atv’s and a truck... had a family member injured severely once. Burnt a major electric pole once at the base, not a small one like that is along the road either, had to be replaced.. Just be careful and seek advice/help if you are a first timer.
One other piece of advise if you live in the country and have a sizeable yard... blow your discharge shoot on your lawn mower away from all buildings at least 3 passes.
That dead grass builds up... almost burnt down the whole farm once lighting seed bags on fire in the driveway. Summers worth of grass clippings against a building is asking for disaster. Gust of wind and things happen fast.
Always a good idea to pull your head out of your keister before you start burning. I was burning off some brome grass that I had killed off, to prep for frost seeding some switchgrass for this coming winter. I had mowed it off pretty short and there was almost no wind, so I got gutsy and let the low flames slowly burn up fairly close to my hay bale blind, then would rake the flame out. There was one small tuft of grass right next to the blind, that was just a little taller than the rest, and sure enough one little puff of wind flared that tuft up and, in turn, that ignited the bone dry covering on the bale blind. It went up like a Roman candle!........I was planning on replacing the covering anyway ;-)
It seems like the problems have already started with people trying to burn when bad wind or not being prepared and with as wet as the ground is fire trucks aren't able to put out the fires so keep that in mind.There has already been way too much property damaged.Remember you light a fire you are liable for everything that happens until it's completely out.Looks like I will be shed hunting if not fighting fire this week until the rain moves in