Patch-Burn Grazing for Forage, Wildlife Habitat, and Firesafe Grasslands

What do you get when you combine grazing and prescribed fire? According to researchers and ranchers, you get reduced danger of catastrophic wildfires, better forage and better weight gains for livestock, and more lesser prairie chickens and other wildlife. Wildfires on the Great Plains are three times more frequent and four times bigger than they were thirty years ago. Some of the biggest increases in both size and frequency have occurred in the southern Great Plains. That’s an immense problem for both people and wildlife. In this 5 minute video from the Lesser Prairie Chicken Initiative (a partnership led by the Natural Resources Conservation Service), researchers, and Kansas rancher Ed Koger describe how patch burning and grazing combine to prevent wildfires and provide better grazing and habitat. How Does Patch-Burn Grazing Work? Patch-burn grazing, also sometimes called "pyric herbivory," is an effort to mimic two processes that have shaped the prairie habitat for thousands of years: fire and grazing. Ignited by lightning and by native tribes, fire killed brush and trees and promoted re

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3 thoughts on “Patch-Burn Grazing for Forage, Wildlife Habitat, and Firesafe Grasslands

  1. Great article. DWK- my pastures are covered in plains prickly pear cactus and fringed sage. I didn’t think fire removed cactus. More info would be nice. Thanks

  2. Good article, I have been doing this when I burn cactus.

    You would think places like California would do something similar to this around subdivisions to build buffers from wild fires.

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