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Summer – Fall Burns
After May the warm season grasses are growing at a rapid rate. By mid-July the height of the grass is higher than desired for a good burn. The thatch will burn; however, the tall grasses will not and the landowner will end up with a layer of thatch again after that winter. This is undesirable for the landowner in most cases.

The best summer-fall burns include either a complete mowing of the field to a height of about 10-inches or a complete herbicide of the field. Before completing either method the landowner should contact the local FSA/SWCD office to make sure this is acceptable under the FSA contract. Normally both methods are approved since both allow much improved burning of the field. The end result is the same.

Herbicide is only suggested IF the landowner will be required to herbicide the field for replanting. Do not herbicide if the burn is only to accomplish a mid-contract management requirement with no future replanting or killing of the field needed. Sometimes FSA wants the landowner to kill the existing vegetation in order to replant with shorter grasses and wild flowers. If this is the case replanting will be much easier if the field is killed before burning.

Mowing or herbicide application are normally performed a minimum of 1.5-2 weeks before the burn to allow for drying of cut debris or the herbicide to act properly.


This field was cut to about 10" with bush hog.  It is ready to burn at this point.
After the burn the green remains but the thatch is completely consumed by the fire 
Following a herbicide treatment in the summer the entire field is consumed to mineral earth