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The traditional burning season for the Southern Great Plains goes from December to April. However, when land managers limit their burn season to these five months, they often find it difficult to implement the number of burns needed to achieve their goals. This is one reason why more and more land managers are conducting growing-season burns, during late spring through early fall months, to meet some of their prescribed burning goals.
Many land managers incorporate prescribed fires into a management plan alongside grazing livestock. Other land managers feel it is not feasible to graze and burn on the same operation. But when prescribed fire is used strategically, its benefits outweigh any negatives.
Prescribed fire, grazing and rest are integral processes for maintaining the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community in the Southern Great Plains and throughout the U.S.
Cole Fagen, a Lloyd Noble Scholar in Agriculture, learns the value of growing-season prescribed burns and discovers a new favorite tool: the drip torch.