DECATUR -- The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Great Plains Fire Science Exchange will host a patch burn grazing workshop Sept. 17-18.

Patch burn grazing is the application of prescribed fire to grasslands in order to focus livestock grazing on a specific area. The objective is to increase plant diversity and structure to benefit wildlife while also maintaining and enhancing cattle production, said Morgan Treadwell, AgriLife Extension range specialist in San Angelo.

The two-day event will start Sept. 17 at 9 a.m. at the Decatur Conference Center, 2010 U.S. 380 in Decatur. The event concludes Sept. 18 at 4 p.m. The cost is $45, and online registration is available until Sept. 4 at tinyurl.com/y4gdelxl.

"Our patch burn grazing workshop group meeting has been held throughout the Great Plains in efforts to build knowledge and increase awareness of the utility of this unique management tool," said event speaker Treadwell. "This meeting will consist of presentations related to research and the practice of using patch burn grazing, producer panels and tours."

The main workshop tour will be of the Caddo-Lyndon B. Johnson National Grasslands and will showcase plant and wildlife diversity stemming from patch burn grazing.

Patch burn grazing benefits a wide range of wildlife species, particularly grassland birds, by providing a mosaic of different vegetation types, Treadwell said. Burned and grazed patches support early successional plants and a variety of native forbs that provide food for many animals, including bobwhite quail.

Patch burning also provides dense nesting cover, open brooding areas and escape cover which improves the survivability of young birds, she said.

"The diversity of structure and plants created through the combination of burning and grazing is not reproducible by either of these methods used alone, or by any other management practices," Treadwell said.

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