Farmers in Central Platte NRD are having great success using fire to improve their pastures. The Hall County Burn Association is hosting an information meeting on September 28, 2016 from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at the Central Platte NRD office, 215 Kaufman Avenue in Grand Island, NE.
Attendees will learn how to get the most out of your burn, how to write a burn plan, what insurance will cover, and what equipment is needed to conduct a burn. The public is invited to attend. There is no cost and RSVP is not required.
Prescribed fire can be a valuable tool in the maintenance and improvement of native grasslands. Rangeland areas that have not had fire occurrence are often sites of problems involving invasive species. The invasive species, such as Eastern Red Cedar, can take away natural grassland acres that are necessary for grazing as well as for wildlife. Rangelands that are always grazed in the fall or winter with no spring treatment may also become areas dominated by native and non-native cool season grasses and invasive weeds. These areas offer a reduced food value to live-stock and are of reduced value to native wildlife.
When prescribed fire is used along with appropriate grazing practices, the results are increased economic output and wildlife benefit. Fields that are moderately grazed and treated with periodic burns are more drought tolerant, more diverse in plant and wildlife species, more productive in late summer, at less risk for devastating summer wildfire, and at less risk for runoff and erosion.