prescribed fire

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milesvb
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prescribed fire

Post by milesvb » Thu Aug 11, 2005 6:12 pm

Does anyone use prescribed burning as a range management tool?

I typically set aside certain areas to burn every year as part of our pasture and wildlife management and was wondering what experience others have had.

I'm thinking of taking soil samples pre and post burn to find out how it changes the nutrient level and pH. If it will raise the pH enough it might reduce the need for liming. I can't seem to find much info on that particular question on the net.


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Prescribed burning

Post by riquezada » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:54 pm

Try a search on "slash and burn" techniques. Typically poor and indigenous peoples of the rain forest areas do this. Might work for one growing seaon, then what you had would be depleted from being burned up.

I would like to torch some field for weed control, but supposedly we aren't supposed to do that anymore around here. Hundreds of years ago thats how supposedly the plains were maintained for the bisons.
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Prescribed burn

Post by riquezada » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:58 pm

Try this link. I think it is primarily talking about clearing forests, but the concept would be the same:

http://www.css.cornell.edu/courses/190/abstr/cohen.htm
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Post by dun » Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:10 am

Talk to your grass managment people at your local NRCS office. Burning is used to both control and stimulate plant growth depending on when the burn is done.

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Re: Prescribed burning

Post by milesvb » Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:16 pm

riquezada wrote:Try a search on "slash and burn" techniques. Typically poor and indigenous peoples of the rain forest areas do this. Might work for one growing seaon, then what you had would be depleted from being burned up.

I would like to torch some field for weed control, but supposedly we aren't supposed to do that anymore around here. Hundreds of years ago thats how supposedly the plains were maintained for the bisons.


Burning tropical forest and burning pastureland are two different things. We use burning to rejuvenate our native grassland much the same way nature did before man suppressed fire. These pastures are somewhat "fire dependent" to stay healthy.

Prescribed burns aren't something you do without taking alot of things in consideration. Planning and preparation are key to help prevent some scary situations. Been there, done that, scorched my arm hairs.
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Post by milesvb » Fri Aug 12, 2005 12:20 pm

dun wrote:Talk to your grass managment people at your local NRCS office. Burning is used to both control and stimulate plant growth depending on when the burn is done.

dun


I've actually been trying to get a hold of our local biologist. I haven't had any luck yet (he must have caller ID :o ). He's helped me out on a few burns before and if I'm lucky he might help me burn a patch next month.

I'm really looking for information on what extent burning can alter soil pH.
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Post by endebt » Fri Aug 12, 2005 3:07 pm

We burnt 30 ac. this spring , of coastal grass. When it got warm it sure went to growing . we did'nt get any rain on our fert. and we cut 35 bales of 1I00 lb bales of hay. I think the pasture is in better shape this year than any other year. mop.
Hope to burn alot more next spring. Ie run a 12 foot tandon disk around the border for a fire brake. it worded very well . The wind got up about half way thru and the fire brake held the fire. hope this helps.

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Post by milesvb » Mon Aug 15, 2005 12:35 pm

endebt wrote:We burnt 30 ac. this spring , of coastal grass. When it got warm it sure went to growing . we did'nt get any rain on our fert. and we cut 35 bales of 1I00 lb bales of hay. I think the pasture is in better shape this year than any other year. mop.
Hope to burn alot more next spring. Ie run a 12 foot tandon disk around the border for a fire brake. it worded very well . The wind got up about half way thru and the fire brake held the fire. hope this helps.


The best way I've found to make a firebrake is first shredding the perimeter as short as possible in a strip wide enough for the mineral line (fire side) and a strip to drive on for ATV's, fire truck, etc. (outside the mineral line). Then pull a hay rake around the shredded area to kick all the duff into the burn area and then disk the be nice out of the inside strip with an offset disk.
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Post by ALACOWMAN » Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:23 pm

this is what i have heard that burning does little for soil quality.but is good for controlling weed,brush,dieseases,certain insects,and for quicker greenup so probably not going to raise your soil ph

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Post by MikeC » Mon Aug 15, 2005 1:48 pm

The ashes would have a content of potash. Depending on the amount of top growth that is burned whether it would be beneficial.

But would certainly enter the soil easier than the fibers rotting.
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Post by ALACOWMAN » Mon Aug 15, 2005 2:05 pm

what about the tonage? of potash you cant get by just burning wish you could. wouldnt think could be enough to raise ph much at all just curious as im no expert

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Post by Medic24 » Mon Aug 15, 2005 9:49 pm

I can vouch for fire... it took several years of continuous burning the same fields, but it helped to rid us of alot of broom sage, and briars..........where lime did not help so much. :cboy:
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Post by A6gal » Tue Aug 16, 2005 10:38 am

I believe in controlled burning, however many do not. My neighbor (a retired ag teacher) is one who does not.

I burned 1/2 of a 60 acre coastal field before spring this year. Only half because my neighbor was freaking out and afraid it ws going to spread to his place, so I put it out to appease him.

I can tell you that the 30 acres that burned came back greener and with considerably less weeds than the 30 acres not burned. The cows seem to prefer grazing the area that was burned over the area not burned also.

The Texas Agriculture Extension recommends burning for the following reasons (if done at the right time)
1. destroys insects
2. promotes faster greenup
3. destroys weeds
4. increases grass production
5. increases protein by 4%
6. increases mineral content of soil by 2%

If not done at the right time though burning can remove protection from late freezes and bares the soil for possible errosion.

Of course a lot of common sense is needed before burning, fire breaks, right weather conditions, don't burn on very windy day, let your neighbors know what's going on and plenty of helpers to keep things under control.

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Post by Rustler9 » Tue Aug 16, 2005 4:37 pm

We've always burned sage brush and briars to control them and the burned areas sure do green up quick. I think the ash is pretty good for the soil but we've never actually tested these areas. We have a hill side that I set on fire two years ago and then I put the cows on it after it greened up. I pretty much knocked the broom sage out but it probably needs it again, still have some briars.
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Post by milesvb » Tue Aug 16, 2005 6:15 pm

I got in touch with the biologist yesterday. He confirmed my suspicions when he said that while burning would raise pH, there are so many variables that probably no one has done any study to find out how much.

One thing I do know is that you can get more bang for the buck out of burning than just about any other range management activity.
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