“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. This stuff is tough.”, Cogongrass is also a physical barrier to seedling establishment of native plants, says Browning. 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. All Rights Reserved. Would you like to keep up with the latest local and national agriculture news, every business day? I’m an avid viewer of your content. It’s also true that because it’s so low on protein, they will slowly starve on such a diet. It is on the Federal list of noxious weeds and is designated as the world’s seventh worst weed. 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. 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. 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. “Even goats won’t eat cogongrass,” says Browning.”. “There’s no wildlife that will eat it. 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. 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. Seems we can at least redeem a little use from the weed. The leaves have a prominent, off-center, white mid-rib, and serrated edges that can feel rough. These bugs may eat invasive cogongrass Researchers have found a midge from Indonesia that attacks cogongrass. An example is yaupon, which is being choked out by cogongrass.”. 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. They also had hogs, which they raised in pastures where they would root up and eat rhizomes of grasses like cogongrass.”. WHY IS COGONGRASS A PROBLEM? My goats used to eat some plants when everything else was gone. Cogongrass is used as a soil binder (to prevent soil erosion), animal feed, and herbal medicine. However, it was revealed that cogongrass was of little economic (forage) benefit and could become a serious pest.”. This rough margin can cut the tongue of a grazing animal, and due to high silica content, cogongrass is a useless forage crop.”. Loving your articles and videos on youtube. Learning very much and appreciating it very much. Zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, antelopes and gazelles are all grass eaters. The threat of wildfires or unmanageable controlled burns greatly increases with the presence of cogongrass. Yeah, this one is definitely out of place! 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. Thanks! Cogongrass makes kudzu look like a lightweight. Cuda and his team are focusing on the Orseolia javanica midge that causes cogongrass to produce linear galls at the expense of leaves. Cogongrass was introduced into Florida in the 1930s and 1940s as a potential forage and for soil stabilization purposes. There are acres and acres of invasive cogongrass across the South. 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 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. Landowners have found instances where the roots of the cogongrass literally grew through the roots of the trees. 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. Perform additional tillage with a disk harrow or other appropriate implement every 6 to 8 … 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. For newer patches, tillage can eliminate cogongrass from an area if continued during the course of a growing season. Cogongrass Will Eat Your Garden or Food Forest Trying to get trees and plants established alongside a cogongrass infestation is very hard. 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. Cogongrass is an invasive species commonly found in pastures that is not going to go away on its own. Thank you, Amanda – that’s very good to know. Alabama Cogongrass Aerial Photographs. ), is a very aggressive exotic perennial grass that entered Alabama in 1911 in packing material from Japan. It keeps other plants from germination. By the same token, if you have a some you’ve pulled, give it to the goats! Learn to identify it here. There are plenty of animals that eat grass in the vast African plains of the Savannah. “Nothing eats it,” Matthews said. 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. It can’t do it if it’s 5″ tall or shorter. 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. can’t believe I’m learning so much for free. If goats do eat cogongrass, it can cut their tongues. Planet Whizbang is Going Out of Business. "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. Young infestations are usually easier to control than older well-established infestations. And if someone made sure that there are some bahia or bermuda seeds there they will take over. The latest research on biological control of cogongrass appears in the journal Florida Entomologist. These factors can spell trouble for people and structures near large infestations. 7% I’m going to weigh in on this because I have a lot of experience with goats and cogon grass. Keeping cows is a lot of work, even if you have just a small farm with a herd of a few cattle. 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. For more articles out of Florida, click here. 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. It is known to infect 35 crops in 73 countries and can be found on more than 1.2 billion acres worldwide. However, they aren’t going to clean up an infested field. That way, they won’t spread through their root system. Currently, cogongrass control is accomplished with mowing and herbicides, which can be costly and are not always effective. “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.”. 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. I didn’t know this was your website. 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. “Cogongrass has been in the United States for decades but only in the last few years was labeled a noxious weed in Mississippi. Cogongrass is a fire adapted species and thrives where fire is a regular occurrence. No cut-mouth issues so far. “Cattle will eat cogongrass when the plant is young,” says Rick Williams, Extension Forestry Specialist, West Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida. “Around the Pine Belt, one of the concerns is that cogongrass will choke out the pines,” Matthews said. In the 1920s ranchers planted it with the hope that they had found a new forage crop for their cattle. 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. These factors can spell trouble for people and structures near large infestations. “That’s why we are investigating biocontrol agents for cogongrass. (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. 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. "It also failed as an erosion control plant because it was too weedy. Cogongrass (Imperata cylindrica (L.) Beauv. Please see caption below story. Cogongrass is an aggressive, rhizomatous, perennial grass that is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. 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. “Most rural families had a cow for milk and butter, and they needed to feed that cow during the winter. Danny has discoverd cogon grass, one of the top 10 most evasive grasses in the world, on our property. What is Cogongrass? 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. I would say they like it just as well as other grasses. Cogongrass control varies according to the age and rhizome mat density and depth. 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. 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. 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. This rough margin can cut the tongue of a grazing animal, and due to high silica content, cogongrass is a useless forage crop.” By the same token, I don’t think they can eat huge amounts of cogon grass. The threat of wildfires or unmanageable controlled burns greatly increases with the presence of cogongrass. I’ve found goat do indeed like cogon grass. 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. Cogongrass first appeared in the area around Grand Bay, Alabama as an escape from S… Email 0 Facebook 0 Twitter 0 Reddit 0. You won’t be missing out on anything but trouble. Thank you, Amanda – much appreciated. April 13, 2017. by UF/IFAS Extension Service. With no native competition or consumers, cogongrass spread … Its flowers are white, as are its fluffy seedheads. Normally, varieties like the Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ don’t go to seed easily. 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 has been my experience too that goats, sheep and cows will eat cogongrass if nothing else is available. It’s not a last-resort type thing; they like it very well. It also displaces native vegetation in sand hill communities in Florida. (2017, February 22). 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. With no native competition or consumers, cogongrass spread rapidly throughout the Gulf South.” However, not all herbivores eat grass. Thank you for the field report. Just kill the stuff. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. Among the arthropods they found, Cuda and his team discovered a midge from Indonesia that attacks cogongrass. Cogongrass may easily overtake newly planted pines and cause loss in 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. Here in Korea, cogongrass was chewed as a gum substitute(young flowers), but in America, it wouldn’t work out. With its vigorous growth and sturdy root system, cogongrass looked like a good forage and was even used in some places for soil stabilization. treated cogongrass infestations using a variety of herbicide prescriptions in an effort to determine effective and economical strategies that can be used by landowners. UF/IFAS researchers find potential bugs to eat invasive cogongrass. “Cogongrass competes intensely for available light and nutrients. It is time for this menace to show its ugly self with a beautiful bloom. Cogongrass displaces native plant species and can permanently alter an ecosystem, including wildlife and fire regimes. If it’s on your property, get rid of it. Researchers find potential bugs to eat invasive cogongrass. Makes college seem like such a stupid waste of my time, life, and money. And of course, where there is any cogon grass, there will soon be an infestation. “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. Management of cogongrass invasions in perennial grass pastures requires diligence and patience at the same time. Loving your content! The aggressive, resilient and prolific grassy weed is considered by international botanists as the seventh worst weed in the world. Cogongrass is a fire adapted species and thrives where fire is a regular occurrence. “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. Smart tip about cogon grass. 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. You can also subscribe without commenting. Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Cogongrass is a horrible weed. Birds such as chicken and turkeys also eat grass. Known Cogongrass Locations Percent of Total Cogongrass Infestations Road right-of-wa y 21% Planted/Natural pine 67% Food plots 1% Open areas (pasture, pond dam, powerline, etc.) Regular field monitoring All Right Reserved. They aren’t as dangerous as the original cogongrass lineages. UF/IFAS Researchers Find Potential Bugs To Eat Invasive Cogongrass. Biological control is more sustainable and can be integrated with conventional controls”. 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. @2017 - PenciDesign. Much like the kudzu vine, cogongrass was then deliberately planted by well-meaning Americans. It isn’t easy: both mowing and burning can cause the plant to produce new seeds and spread. To hope that your goats eat cogongrass instead of almost anything else is a vain hope. 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. Any notes on them preferring it to other grasses? Cogongrass fires are hotter, faster and higher than native grass fires. Cogongrass fires are hotter, faster and higher than native grass fires. Cogon grass is also nutritionally very poor, only 7% crude protein. 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. Oleander(Nerium oleander) Also known as: Rose laurel, adelfa, rosenlorbeer. ScienceDaily. What is cogongrass? Cogongrass is spreading rapidly across Alabama and the southeast, reducing forest © 2020 Morning Ag Clips, LLC. If goats do eat cogongrass, it can cut their tongues. Yes, cogon grass should be eradicated. Cogongrass will provide roughage. At that time, it was being used as packing material. “Cogongrass will displace entire native communities,” says Browning. 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. 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. Cogongrass is a very aggressive perennial grass. Photo by Charles T. Bryson, courtesy of Bugwood.org. Methods of control. Hasn’t commented in a while but I’m still following your adventures with great interest! From a management perspective, cogongrass is undesirable on rights-of-way due to its unsightly nature and propensity for fire. 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. A perennial grass, it grows on every continent except Antarctica and has earned a reputation as one of the worst weeds on Earth. This article can help with that. That’s encouraging. “But as it matures, the plant has silica on the edges and will cut cows’ mouths. ID: An evergreen shrub … Sign up for the Morning Ag Clips below! 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). At this point whatever seeds are in the soil will have their chance. Retrieved October 21, … Cattle ate the grass when it was very young but would not eat it once it was mature. Please click on the link below. Cogongrass invading forested area. “It also failed as an erosion control plant because it was too weedy. X Linkedin 0 Stumbleupon 0. Cogongrass is an aggressive, rhizomatous, perennial grass that is distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Select your state and county for their contact information. 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. small_cogon_1120337.jpg Now is the time to take action against Cogongrass. The big root system of cogongrass takes water and nutrients for itself and will quickly out-compete your crops … A brilliant way to still grow these plants is to plant them in pots. Pictures are worth more than words. A few bugs may be able to chew up … , tillage can eliminate cogongrass from an area if continued during the course of a growing season “ there s... 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