Well-managed grasslands benefit all species, including humans. Many species of wildlife use grasslands for food, cover, and nesting. Grasses also help control soil erosion and store carbon. But to stay productive, grasslands must be managed.
- Use rotational grazing with several paddocks or grazing units, rather than one large grazing unit.
- Use both native warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses.
- Add more species, especially legumes (clovers, lespedezas), to hay fields or grazing units that currently have only one species of grass.
- Protect shrubby vegetation or wooded areas next to grazing units with permanent fence. Cost-share assistance may be available to help you do this. Contact your local MDC private land conservationist for more information.
- Allow warm-season grasses to regrow to 12–15 inches tall before the fall dormancy period. Do not cut or graze within six weeks of the average first frost.
- Consult your local MDC private land conservationist for professional assistance in managing native prairie remnants.
- Establish green firebreaks around warm-season grass pastures and hayfields using wildlife-friendly cool-season grasses and legumes.