Spring has been slow in coming this year here; it was only a week ago when we still had plenty of snow patches left around the place. But things are slowly changing!
The pasture bordering our north pasture was burned last Saturday - the first time in "memory" here. It'll be very interesting to see what transpires there over the spring and summer!
We'll now do some planning on our pasture. We usually try and only burn "sections" of our prairie pasture. Keeping more diversity in the invertebrate population is very important. We were a little less worried about the invertebrates in the past because we had this "buffer" to our north and west - now about 65-70% of that "buffer" pasture has been burned. We'll be leaving at least 50% of our bordering prairie intact this year and only burn along our driveway and ditches if weather permits.
The neighboring pasture was dense with thatch; hard to even walk through. The ground was still damp and the bottom of much of the thatched growth didn't burn completely to the soil, so there may still be invertebrate survival on some stages.
But I think leaving a buffer on our side is a good idea. I feel better by erroring on the safe side of things.
I've been reading a good deal on practices in managing prairie...it is so much more complex that just burning, mowing or grazing. What is in the thatch, the upper soil, deeper down...in the plant stems, etc. There is no "one treatment cures all" management tool, so we are mixing it up as much as we can with our situation...now if I could only get my hands on a couple Bison to help out too!
Hope to see you on the tallgrass this spring!