Are your native summer pastures becoming overrun with cool-season plants? Cheatgrass, downy brome, bluegrass, smooth brome and other cool-season plants can often invade many warm-season grass pastures and rangeland. This invasion shifts good grazing away from summer and towards springtime when most folks have plenty of pasture anyway.

What can you do? Cool-season grasses take over summer pastures relatively easily because they develop rapidly during fall and spring when native grass provides little competition. Then they use moisture and nutrients during spring before warm-season plants have a chance to use them.

Fortunately, several tools can revitalize warm-season grasses and reduce pressure from annuals, brome, and bluegrass. Hard grazing in late fall after a freeze and in early spring as well as prescribed spring burning will weaken brome and bluegrass when warm-season plants are dormant and unaffected.

An even faster approach is to apply glyphosate herbicides like Roundup now in late fall after a hard freeze when weedy cool-season grasses still are green but warm-season plants are dormant. This will kill or weaken the green and susceptible cool-season grasses but not affect dormant warm-season plants.

Recent weather is making this fall ideal for use of herbicides, with cold nighttime temperatures turning warm-season grasses dormant plus sufficient rainfall in many areas and daytime warmth to keep cool-season grasses active. By reducing competition, warm-season plants will grow more vigorously next year and provide better summer pasture.