ranchmagazine.com

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Sheep & Goat Fund

Home Columns Range Plants
Jake Landers' Range Plants

Recovery

E-mail Print PDF

By Jake Landers

Published September 2012

Jake Landers Wildflowers came with abundant moisture last spring. The blankets and patches of different colors were especially bright because of the lack of competition from leftover grasses and weeds. What has happened to our rangeland following combinations in the past year of extreme drought, wildfires that wouldn’t quit, temperatures that kept going up, and the usual mix of livestock and wildlife grazing pressure? I’m tempted to say “Who knows?!” and go on to a less complicated subject, or “Who cares?!” and let the land take care of itself. My conscience wouldn’t let me take either choice. We need to observe what has happened and hope that we can understand our individual responsibility in passing our knowledge of land management on to the next generation.

Add a comment
Read more...
 

Devil's Claw

E-mail Print PDF

By Jake Landers
Published August 2012

Jake Landers Devil’s claw grows as a weed in a cotton field near Wall, Texas, with one of its flowers already popped out of its setting. Its flowers are as beautiful as an orchid, its seed pods as weird as a flying fish. Devil’s Claw is a successful native plant that will be with us as a weed for a long time. You are as likely to find it growing in a waterlot on the ranch or in a cotton field on the Lipan Flats near Wall, Texas. Like most weeds it thrives on soil disturbance whether from hoof action or plow. Livestock do not touch it, but herbicides, with persistence, can do it in.

Like Bluebonnets, Devil’s Claw must come up from seed every time it grows. Both have seeds that may last in the soil for many years before they germinate. Also, Devil’s Claw seeds germinate with late spring, early summer temperatures, instead of the cool sunny days of fall and winter when the Bluebonnets do. It can become a weed in a cotton field because it may not germinate until cotton is up too big for cultivation or it can survive the preemergence herbicides. Before “over-the-top” herbicides became available, Devil’s Claw had to be controlled by hoe or hand pulling, neither job would have appealed to most farmers.

Add a comment
Read more...
 

Buffalo Burr

E-mail Print PDF

By Jake Landers
Published July 2012

Jake Landers Robust Buffalo Burr grows in the author’s lawn in San Angelo where he had filled in a spot with soil from the family ranch last year. A thumbnail sketch of Buffalo Burr would include: stickers all over leaf, stem, and fruit; long-lived seed, annual roots, responds to soil disturbance, and largely inedible for man and beast.

Buffalo Burr (Solanum rostratum) is a member of the Potato Family, many of which are poisonous to humans and grazing animals. Our familiar Irish Potato occasionally is green in the outer layer of the tuber that contains solanine, a poison thought to cause spina-bifida in babies when overconsumed by pregnant women in Britain.

There are no tubers or other food storage roots in Buffalo Burr. It must grow each time from seed which can last many years in the soil. Perhaps soil disturbance, as in a Buffalo wallow, brings seeds to the surface where they can germinate. Another name is Kansas thistle.

Add a comment
Read more...
 

Perennial Sunflowers

E-mail Print PDF

By Jake Landers
Published June 2012

Jake Landers Maximillian sunflower, here in the native plant display at the Menard Public Library, Menard, Texas, is a perennial variety that comes back each year from tubers or roots left in fhe ground rather than by seed. Sunflowers come in two main groups, those that must come up from seed each time they grow, Annuals, and those that can come back from roots as well as growing from seeds, Perennials. The annuals are the weedy ones that are pests in crops and pastures yet they provide the seeds for humans and birds to eat and have been developed into many varieties of colorful flowers. The perennials, mainly only two, provide the tubers of Jerusalem artichoke or Sunchoke, a few seeds for birds, and grazing for livestock and wildlife.

Add a comment
Read more...
 

Zonation

E-mail Print PDF

By Jake Landers
Published May 2012

Jake LandersWhere environmental gradients are abrupt, plant species tend to adjust to the part of the gradient where they can dominate, or, at least, survive.  Water levels around a lake or along a river, geological deposits, animal activity, and many other situations, may produce striking patterns.  Fence line contrasts between two pastures, or along a pasture and the highway right-of-way, often show two different groups of plants because of different growing environments.  Plants species around a Harvester Ant mound in West Texas can change over a distance of inches forming narrow bands or rings. 

Add a comment
Read more...
 


Page 3 of 5

 

Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers Association
TEXAS SHEEP AND GOAT RAISERS ASSOCIATION

Rio Grande Electric Cooperative, Inc.
RIO GRANDE ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE, INC.


Goat Books


Finewool and Clippings

Three words guaranteed to humiliate men everywhere: "Hold my purse."