The Latest from Hilliard Management

We’ve discussed the many benefits of prescribed burning in previous posts, but one a common question we get is how quickly fields come back, and what they look like. We understand, seeing is believing. Below are some pictures from two smaller fields that we burned three months ago, and then pictures of the same fields taken a week and a half ago.

Both burns together were finished and mopped up in about an hour. Despite the short amount of time the burn accomplished multiple goals – thinned out overgrown grass stands, cleared out volunteer woody shrubs and saplings, jump started regrowth of desirable species, and returned valuable nutrients to the soil. Not bad for an hour of work.

We’ll keep up with these fields (and others we’ve burned in years past) throughout the year. We’re big believers that managing habitat is an ongoing process, and requires a certain amount of art to go with the science. After all the trouble it takes to establish quality habitat, it’s equally important to know how to maintain it. This means things like burning, thinning, cover cropping, and so forth. Don’t be afraid to tweak your management practices along each season – just make sure you keep good records and always take time at the end of each season to evaluate what worked and what didn’t. So far, so good on these fields, but if we notice something we do/don’t like you can bet we’ll be right back to our notes and already looking ahead to next year’s game plan. In the end of the day nothing trumps knowledge born from experience.

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