Pasture management

Asked July 30, 2013, 12:33 PM EDT

We recently moved to CO from MA. We have 35 acres in Deer Trail that we are trying to bring back for horse pasture. It has been taken over by yucca and cactus. 1. How do we manage the yucca? Is it best to remove it or does it serve a purpose? 2. How/when do we seed the pastures? Do we need to harrow or can we drop seed? Any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

Elbert County Colorado

1 Response

The yucca and cactus are native plants common in dry sandy soils, and even more prevalent because drought and overgrazing. They reproduce by stems and seeds. Flowers of the yucca are often eaten by livestock and wildlife. Cactus and yucca can be dug up manually. For yucca, it’s easiest to cut the plant off at the ground and then dig up the roots. Make sure you get all the roots because they can grow back from small roots. Another option is to cut the plant and then paint it with herbicide. Contact your local herbicide dealer to find out what herbicide would work best.Plant your grass seed between Nov 15 and March 15. Prepare the soil by tilling and disking to create a firm seedbed. Use a grass drill to plant the grass seed. The Deer Trail Conservation District sells seed and has a grass drill you can rent. They are a great contact in your area and I highly recommend contacting them for further assistance and questions. They are at 303-822-5257 and located on Bijou Ave in Byers.Also check out the Small Acreage Website. Go to the Pasture/Range section of CSU Extension’s Small acreage Management website at http://www.ext.colostate.edu/sam/pasture.html At the very top you can download the Colorado Forage Guide which will be a helpful resource for choosing grasses and grazing management. I also recommend watching the one-hour webinar titled “Renovating and Reseeding Your Pasture.” To watch this recorded webinar scroll down to the green box labeled SAM Webinars and click on it.