This rough margin can cut the tongue of a grazing animal, and due to high silica content, cogongrass is a useless forage crop.” Yeah, this one is definitely out of place! A worldwide research team led by UF/IFAS entomology professor James Cuda and retired entomology professor Bill Overholt found species in Japan, East Africa and Indonesia that might help in the battle against cogongrass. These factors can spell trouble for people and structures near large infestations. It has become established in the southeastern United States within the last fifty years, with Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida having extensive acreage of roadway and pasture infested with cogongrass. UF/IFAS Researchers Find Potential Bugs To Eat Invasive Cogongrass. Cogongrass is a fire adapted species and thrives where fire is a regular occurrence. From a management perspective, cogongrass is undesirable on rights-of-way due to its unsightly nature and propensity for fire. Photo by Charles T. Bryson, courtesy of Bugwood.org. Would you like to keep up with the latest local and national agriculture news, every business day? To hope that your goats eat cogongrass instead of almost anything else is a vain hope. At that time, it was being used as packing material. It has become established in the southeastern United States within the last fifty years, with Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida having extensive acreage of roadway and pasture infested with cogongrass. “Cogongrass was introduced to Mississippi as a new forage crop, however, it is not palatable for livestock, not even goats will eat it,” Bozeman said. Perform additional tillage with a disk harrow or other appropriate implement every 6 to 8 … Cogongrass makes kudzu look like a lightweight. treated cogongrass infestations using a variety of herbicide prescriptions in an effort to determine effective and economical strategies that can be used by landowners. A worldwide research team led by UF/IFAS entomology professor James Cuda (above) and retired entomology professor Bill Overholt found species in Japan, East Africa and Indonesia that might help in the battle against cogongrass. It’s not a last-resort type thing; they like it very well. I will put an armload in for them, and they eat it in the pasture, but I think it would be too rough on their mouths if they were to eat nothing else. Select your state and county for their contact information. Regular field monitoring However, they aren’t going to clean up an infested field. Browning spoke March 10 to an overflow crowd at a Cogongrass Seminar in Jackson sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce’s Bureau of Plant Industry. “Nothing eats it,” Matthews said. These bugs may eat invasive cogongrass Researchers have found a midge from Indonesia that attacks cogongrass. With no native competition or consumers, cogongrass spread … Cogongrass might possibly offer a short-term forage value, but mature leaves are unpalatable to livestock because of high silica content and because the young shoots have sharp points. “That’s why we are investigating biocontrol agents for cogongrass. Cogon grass is also nutritionally very poor, only 7% crude protein. Keeping cows is a lot of work, even if you have just a small farm with a herd of a few cattle. GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A few bugs may be able to chew up some cogongrass, a noxious weed that elbows out pasture grass, golf course greens and valuable ecosystems, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences researcher says. That way, they won’t spread through their root system. In open fields and forests cogongrass initially forms circular infestations that appear light green in summer and light brown in winter as can be viewed in these oblique aerial photographs. Management of cogongrass invasions in perennial grass pastures requires diligence and patience at the same time. It keeps other plants from germination. Just kill the stuff. Randy Browning, a wildlife biologist with the U.S. Wildlife Service and the Mississippi Fish and Wildlife Foundation, says now that landowners, state agencies and, in many cases, the general public have learned to recognize the plant and its dangers to agriculture and wildlife, that Mississippi is beginning to make progress on suppression of the weed in some areas and possibly even eradication in some of the lesser-infected areas. X Linkedin 0 Stumbleupon 0. Planet Whizbang is Going Out of Business. Cogongrass will provide roughage. It is time for this menace to show its ugly self with a beautiful bloom. If a hog or a goat won’t eat this stuff, you know it’s bad stuff.” Locally, the cogongrass threat is worrying some foresters. can’t believe I’m learning so much for free. WHY IS COGONGRASS A PROBLEM? (Courtesy Photo), Cotton Research and Promotion Act amendments to continue, UF researchers awarded $1.8M to improve nutrient management of Suwannee Valley farms, APHIS changes approach to fight emerald ash borer (EAB), Maine forestry officials find most trees suspected of pest, Vacancies on Invasive Species Advisory Committee. 7% Cogongrass control varies according to the age and rhizome mat density and depth. "It also failed as an erosion control plant because it was too weedy. Cogongrass is spreading rapidly across Alabama and the southeast, reducing forest UF/IFAS Researchers Find Potential Bugs to Eat Invasive Cogongrass 22-Feb-2017 8:05 AM EST , by University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Edit Institution Biological control is more sustainable and can be integrated with conventional controls”. No cut-mouth issues so far. Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv. There are acres and acres of invasive cogongrass across the South. "Cogongrass was introduced to Mississippi as a new forage crop, however, it is not palatable for livestock, not even goats will eat it," Bozeman said. Thanks! Loving your articles and videos on youtube. If goats do eat cogongrass, it can cut their tongues. I would say they like it just as well as other grasses. Loving your content! It can’t do it if it’s 5″ tall or shorter. It is on the Federal list of noxious weeds and is designated as the world’s seventh worst weed. Alabama Cogongrass Aerial Photographs. Birds such as chicken and turkeys also eat grass. You can also subscribe without commenting. Cogongrass fires are hotter, faster and higher than native grass fires. By the same token, if you have a some you’ve pulled, give it to the goats! A brilliant way to still grow these plants is to plant them in pots. All Right Reserved. Cogongrass is a very aggressive perennial grass. The leaves have a prominent, off-center, white mid-rib, and serrated edges that can feel rough. And if someone made sure that there are some bahia or bermuda seeds there they will take over. Side effect of this management technique is that cogongrass will die out eventually because it’s way more sensitive to cutting/overgrazing than FL grasses and the way it takes over is it creates dense monoculture stands and shades out the soil. If it’s on your property, get rid of it. You won’t be missing out on anything but trouble. ID: An evergreen shrub … The big root system of cogongrass takes water and nutrients for itself and will quickly out-compete your crops … “Cogongrass has been in the United States for decades but only in the last few years was labeled a noxious weed in Mississippi. In the 1920s ranchers planted it with the hope that they had found a new forage crop for their cattle. Cogongrass, Imperata cylindrica (L.), is considered the seventh worst weed in the world and listed as a federal noxious weed by USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service - Plant Protection and Quarantine.Cogongrass infestations are being found primarily in south Georgia but is capable of growing throughout the state. We recommend that you contact your local Master Gardener for tips on eradication if several applications of a professional strength RoundUp does not seem to help. “Even goats won’t eat cogongrass,” says Browning.”. Normally, varieties like the Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ don’t go to seed easily. Its flowers are white, as are its fluffy seedheads. Please click on the link below. Cogongrass is an aggressive, rhizomatous, perennial grass that is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. This rough margin can cut the tongue of a grazing animal, and due to high silica content, cogongrass is a useless forage crop.”. Retrieved October 21, … “It also failed as an erosion control plant because it was too weedy. These factors can spell trouble for people and structures near large infestations. Seems we can at least redeem a little use from the weed. small_cogon_1120337.jpg Now is the time to take action against Cogongrass. For newer patches, tillage can eliminate cogongrass from an area if continued during the course of a growing season. Also, young tender shoots are way more edible and nutritious, so another trick is to always graze it when it’s young and short (you can mow it a week or two before grazing if needed). Cuda and his team are focusing on the Orseolia javanica midge that causes cogongrass to produce linear galls at the expense of leaves. “But as it matures, the plant has silica on the edges and will cut cows’ mouths. Any notes on them preferring it to other grasses? Thank you, Amanda – that’s very good to know. Cogongrass may easily overtake newly planted pines and cause loss in “Around the Pine Belt, one of the concerns is that cogongrass will choke out the pines,” Matthews said. A couple of years ago I posted this video on cogongrass: Yesterday my video received this comment: Goats are generally known to “eat everything.” They’ve been used to control invasive plants such as kudzu and Japanese knotweed. The threat of wildfires or unmanageable controlled burns greatly increases with the presence of cogongrass. Hasn’t commented in a while but I’m still following your adventures with great interest! “Although cogongrass looks like a superb forage, we learned animals that consume cogongrass as the sole forage lose weight rather than gain weight,” Byrd said.”. Cogongrass is often categorized as one of the top ten worst weeds in the world; Cogongrass is a rapidly growing perennial grass that is tolerant of a wide range of site conditions It also displaces native vegetation in sand hill communities in Florida. “Most rural families had a cow for milk and butter, and they needed to feed that cow during the winter. ScienceDaily. The initial tillage should begin in the spring (March through May) with an implement that inverts the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches. All Rights Reserved. However, when scientists brought the arthropods back to the quarantine facility at the UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center in Fort Pierce, Florida, they did not mate and increase in population. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Much appreciation and gratitude your way! It got into a patch of sweet potatoes once and the sharp rhizomes actually grew right through some of the potato roots. And even if goats manage to get past the serrated edges and eat cogongrass – perhaps because other forage isn’t available – they’ll actually lose weight on it: “When cogongrass was introduced, families had to grow what they ate,” Byrd said. Methods of control. This stuff is tough.”, Cogongrass is also a physical barrier to seedling establishment of native plants, says Browning. Much like the kudzu vine, cogongrass was then deliberately planted by well-meaning Americans. Cogongrass, introduced in the U.S. in the early 1900s as packing material and as livestock forage grass, causes the most expensive losses in pine plantations, where it outcompetes native ground cover and increases the frequency and intensity of fires, Cuda said. The irony in this situation is that one of the reasons cogongrass was first imported was for animals to eat: “It was intentionally introduced from the Philippines into Mississippi as a possible forage in 1921. Oleander(Nerium oleander) Also known as: Rose laurel, adelfa, rosenlorbeer. It is known to infect 35 crops in 73 countries and can be found on more than 1.2 billion acres worldwide. Designed and Developed by PenciDesign, Rosary Peas in the Great South Florida Food Forest Project, The States in America Using the Most and Least Glysophate, The Great South Florida Food Forest Project, Interplanting Corn and Pigeon Peas On a Slope, Easy Pest Control – Crash Gardening, Episode 3, Making Christmas Cookie Ornaments as a Family, Improving the Ground One Ground at a Time. The latest research on biological control of cogongrass appears in the journal Florida Entomologist. Cogongrass plants range from 2 to more than 4 feet tall, with ½-inch to 1-inch-wide leaves that appear to grow directly from ground level. Sign up for the Morning Ag Clips below! As the USDA reports: “(cogongrass) leaf margins are rough to the touch due to tiny, saw-like serrations, a common trait of other grasses as well. I’m an avid viewer of your content. Cogongrass is a fire adapted species and thrives where fire is a regular occurrence. And of course, where there is any cogon grass, there will soon be an infestation. So, scientists must conduct more research to determine how to rear the midge in the laboratory in order to evaluate its host specificity and impact on cogongrass, a rather ubiquitous weed in Florida and the southeastern U.S., said Cuda, a biological weed control specialist with UF/IFAS. April 13, 2017. by UF/IFAS Extension Service. “Cattle will eat cogongrass when the plant is young,” says Rick Williams, Extension Forestry Specialist, West Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida. My goats used to eat some plants when everything else was gone. Learning very much and appreciating it very much. “There’s no wildlife that will eat it. What is cogongrass? Cogongrass is an invasive species commonly found in pastures that is not going to go away on its own. David, in an earlier post you said “Sometimes people talk about “beneficial weeds”… but I would argue that all weeds are beneficial, in their place.” I’ll take cogongrass as an exception. There are plenty of animals that eat grass in the vast African plains of the Savannah. Smart tip about cogon grass. Cogongrass first appeared in the area around Grand Bay, Alabama as an escape from S… “Cogongrass will displace entire native communities,” says Browning. Cogongrass was introduced into Florida in the 1930s and 1940s as a potential forage and for soil stabilization purposes. Email 0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Reddit 0. As the USDA reports: “ (cogongrass) leaf margins are rough to the touch due to tiny, saw-like serrations, a common trait of other grasses as well. With no native competition or consumers, cogongrass spread rapidly throughout the Gulf South.” Zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, antelopes and gazelles are all grass eaters. They also had hogs, which they raised in pastures where they would root up and eat rhizomes of grasses like cogongrass.”. An example is yaupon, which is being choked out by cogongrass.”. What is Cogongrass? Pictures are worth more than words. Cogongrass Will Eat Your Garden or Food Forest Trying to get trees and plants established alongside a cogongrass infestation is very hard. Please see caption below story. By the same token, I don’t think they can eat huge amounts of cogon grass. “Biological control using natural enemies from the native range of cogongrass has received little attention, and no biological control agents have been introduced anywhere in the world,” Cuda said. “Cogongrass competes intensely for available light and nutrients. Cattle ate the grass when it was very young but would not eat it once it was mature. I’ve found goat do indeed like cogon grass. Cogongrass is used as a soil binder (to prevent soil erosion), animal feed, and herbal medicine. @2017 - PenciDesign. This article can help with that. In the South, cogongrass ranks among the top 10 plant marauders, invading forests, rights-of-way, and agricultural fields, literally taking over the landscape and altering ecosystems. Researchers find potential bugs to eat invasive cogongrass. Cuda cited a 2009 report that showed the state of Alabama spent $6.3 million of federal stimulus funds exclusively for chemical control of the weed. A perennial grass, it grows on every continent except Antarctica and has earned a reputation as one of the worst weeds on Earth. Danny has discoverd cogon grass, one of the top 10 most evasive grasses in the world, on our property. They aren’t as dangerous as the original cogongrass lineages. The aggressive, resilient and prolific grassy weed is considered by international botanists as the seventh worst weed in the world. It isn’t easy: both mowing and burning can cause the plant to produce new seeds and spread. Studies show that cogongrass contains chemicals (has the allelopathic ability) that prevent the growth of other plant species and contribute to its invasiveness and extreme competitiveness. Back in its Southeast Asian home, cogongrass is used for basket weaving, roof thatching and paper making… but man alive, I really hate it in my yard. “This invasive grass infests cattle pastures, golf courses, lawns and also thrives in poor soil conditions such as ditch banks, roadside and railroad rights-of-way as well as reclaimed phosphate mining areas,” he said, adding that it grows quickly and alters the ecology of habitats it invades. However, not all herbivores eat grass. Cogongrass invading forested area. Thank you for the field report. Among the arthropods they found, Cuda and his team discovered a midge from Indonesia that attacks cogongrass. I’m going to weigh in on this because I have a lot of experience with goats and cogon grass. Cogongrass is an aggressive, rhizomatous, perennial grass that is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Cogongrass displaces native plant species and can permanently alter an ecosystem, including wildlife and fire regimes. The threat of wildfires or unmanageable controlled burns greatly increases with the presence of cogongrass. (2017, February 22). There are plenty of plants cows shouldn’t eat, and if you are going to have any amount of cattle, you need to know what they are. For more articles out of Florida, click here. If goats do eat cogongrass, it can cut their tongues. A few bugs may be able to chew up … Landowners have found instances where the roots of the cogongrass literally grew through the roots of the trees. Here in Korea, cogongrass was chewed as a gum substitute(young flowers), but in America, it wouldn’t work out. However, it was revealed that cogongrass was of little economic (forage) benefit and could become a serious pest.”. In the Mid-South and Southeast, cogongrass has crept into forage and pasture operations, along highway rights of ways and into pine and hardwood plantations where the weed vigorously competes for the water and nutrients needed by forage grasses, trees and wildlife. That’s encouraging. Makes college seem like such a stupid waste of my time, life, and money. Learn to identify it here. With its vigorous growth and sturdy root system, cogongrass looked like a good forage and was even used in some places for soil stabilization. So, if one wants to use animals to clear cogongrass, the animals need to be supplemented with some low volume high-protein feed, like flaxseed meal. It has been my experience too that goats, sheep and cows will eat cogongrass if nothing else is available. Young infestations are usually easier to control than older well-established infestations. ), is a very aggressive exotic perennial grass that entered Alabama in 1911 in packing material from Japan. I didn’t know this was your website. © 2020 Morning Ag Clips, LLC. Thank you, Amanda – much appreciated. Cogongrass fires are hotter, faster and higher than native grass fires. Credit: Charles T. Bryson, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org If cogongrass is already growing on your property—and in the Southeastern U.S., that’s a common problem—you can fight back. Cogongrass is a horrible weed. It’s also true that because it’s so low on protein, they will slowly starve on such a diet. Currently, cogongrass control is accomplished with mowing and herbicides, which can be costly and are not always effective. Yes, cogon grass should be eradicated. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. It can be done in a single year or 2 but every time you allow cogongrass to form that dense monoculture you’ll need to start over. 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