Eastern Red-cedar trees have become more abundant in many fence rows and pastures. This now very common tree was once limited to rocky bluffs, deep canyons and other areas where fire did not historically occur.
Prescribed burning is one of the most valuable and cost effective tools available to manage our rangelands. Fire was an integral part of the ecosystem in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas throughout history, and our plant communities are adapted to fire.
Recently, our agricultural research team has been asked to provide talks during tours of our Oswalt Road Ranch. The Noble Research Institute took full control of the property in 2000. The ranch is a valuable piece of property because of its unique natural beauty and potential to support livestock production and wildlife habitat.
As part of the prescribed burn planning process, managers should secure the appropriate equipment.
We often recommend prescribed burning as a method to manage native rangeland and wildlife habitat - and, indeed, many of us believe that fire should be considered an integral component to most rangeland management systems. With all of the touted benefits of prescribed burning, however, we often do not associate costs with the use of fire.
Why don't more people use prescribed burning in Oklahoma and Texas? One reason that comes to mind is the fact that most of the Noble Research Institute's service area was under a burn ban this time last year, which happens to be the peak time for conducting prescribed burns.
The Noble Research Institute's Agricultural Division recently conducted its annual Prescribed Burning Workshop, and turnout was excellent. Some of us have been discussing the "how to's" and touting the benefits of prescribed burning for so long, we sometimes forget this land management tool is a new concept to some people.
When an unexpected wildfire blazes through a property, it generally leaves behind the charred ashes of grass, trees, fences and possibly buildings. Landowners will immediately think of the loss in value the wildfire has created, but, in the eyes of the IRS, is there a deductible loss?
Fires in Oklahoma and Texas and record-low rainfall have caused many people who earn a living on the land to make decisions they have not faced in many years. Here are some items for producers to think about as they formulate drought-management plans
The other day, I thought to myself, "What if all the land area covered by Eastern red cedar was covered with thistles?" Since most thistles are listed as noxious weeds in Oklahoma and most other states as well, I believe there would be a great amount of action taken to control them. In my opinion, cedars are every bit as noxious as thistles, if not worse, and they are invading our land.