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Field Day Explores Invasive Species Management

Invasive species, especially in native woodlands areas, are a major concern in southern Indiana woodlands. The incursion of invasives often result in ecological, financial, and recreational degradation in forests where invasives become established.

The latest technologies are needed to ensure the most efficient means of controlling and eradicating invasive species for Indiana woodland owners. A full day invasive species workshop hosted at the Southern Indiana Purdue Agricultural Center (SIPAC) featured lectures, wagon tours, hands-on demonstrations, and forest walks. Topics included assessing invasive plant problems, pillars of an invasives management system, invasives management control options, correct use and application of herbicides, herbicide labels, herbicide laws and regulations, invasive management funding and technical assistance, and developing an invasives management plan.

Participants were 39 landowners from across southern Indiana and out of state interested in controlling invasive species common to Indiana woodlands. On the post-survey completed by 29 participants, they reported currently managing or advising woodlands acreages: 50 acres or less (25%); 51 to 100 acres (8%); 101 to 500 acres (54%); and 501 to 1000 acres (8%). Most (93%) found the field day extremely or very useful to their operations.

Attendees reported they planned to incorporate information learned into their management operations: herbicide information and demonstrations (55%); integrated management and scheduling in management (14%); controlled burns on invasive species (14%); and grazing goats on invasive species (10%). As a result of the field day, participants reported planning to adopt these practices: identify invasive plant problems on my property (86%), take steps to prevent new infestations (79%), assess the infestation, prioritize, and actively manage invasive plants on my property (76%), incorporate invasive plant management into my forest/ wildland management plan (76%), seek professional expertise in managing invasive vegetation (66%), seek financial assistance to help pay for invasive plant control (59%), and hire a forester or other vegetation management professional for invasive vegetation control work (38%).

A majority (68%) would recommend this field day to a friend or colleague ranking the event as a 10 on a 10-point scale.

Participants indicated the reason for the high ranking was that the field day was informative and engaging, provided practical, applicable techniques and tool demonstrations, and gave clarity on fighting invasive species. Purdue Extension’s Field Day helps landowners identify and manage invasive species to enhance high quality and sustainable woodlands in Indiana.

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