Tailgate Talk: managing invasive bluestems

When you hear the term “bluestem” mentioned when discussing grasses, your mind likely takes you to our common native species Big and Little Bluestem. Unfortunately, invasive bluestem species like Broomsedge Bluestem and Old World Bluestems have increased on our forage acreages as well. Their forage quality is poor and ability to take over is high, making control efforts a key to maintaining production in both cool and warm season pasture systems.

These undesirable bluestems, along with other invading grass species have wreaked havoc on both cool and warm season forage systems on an increasing basis over the last decade plus. To help producers learn more about them, we’ll dedicate our first Tailgate Talk of the 2024 season to their identification and management.

Scott and Kelli Thompson will be our hosts for the Tailgate Talk scheduled for the evening of Wednesday, May 22, at their farm located at 18050 Kansas Highway 116, approximately seven miles east of the 16/75 Junction in Holton (north side of the Road – watch for signs; GPS Coordinates: 39.4627760545070, -95.61552510659).

K-State Research and Extension Range Management Specialist Dr. Walt Fick and Area NRCS Rangeland Management Specialist Dustin Schwandt will team up to share information on how to tell the difference between the desirable bluestems and their less desirable counterparts. They’ll also share grazing, herbicide, and fertility management strategies to help combat them.

Plan to meet at the Thompson pasture for a light meal sponsored by the Jackson County Conservation District beginning at 5:30 p.m. with the program to begin at 6 p.m. We do request an RSVP to help us with a meal count. You can do so by contacting the Holton Office of the Meadowlark Extension District by noon on Monday, May 20 (785-364-4125), or by sending an email to dhallaue@ksu.edu.

In the case of inclement weather — or if you have further questions — contact us at the number/email above for potential change of venue notices. Hope to see you there!


David Hallauer50 Posts

David Hallauer is the Meadowlark Extension District agent in the areas of horticulture and crops and soils.


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