The traditional pasture burning season of late April may seem a long way in the future but it's not too early to start thinking about fire safety and burning techniques.
Any landowners who are thinking about undertaking a Prescribed Burn to help control woody brush invaders or clean up rangeland and CRP grassland have an opportunity to learn more about conducting a burn during a series of Prescribed Burning Workshops that will be offered in January and February.
Carol Blocksome, Department of Agronomy, Kansas State University, said that these popular workshops are a continuation of a multi-agency effort to inform producers about prescribed burning. It is evident from these workshops that producers need and want more information and education on how to conduct a safe and successful prescribed burn.
"Safe burning requires proper planning, education, and training," she said.
"Producers may want to burn native and CRP grassland to improve vegetative quality, control weeds, manage for wildlife, or fulfill CRP contractual obligations," said Blocksome.
"I would encourage any producer who is thinking of burning grassland in Kansas to attend one of these workshops," Blocksome said.
There is a registration charge to attend the workshops, which covers the cost of handouts and a notebook, and in some cases, a meal. RSVP deadline is a week prior to the workshop date.
Prescribed Burning workshops are being held at the locations listed below. The content of all the workshops is very similar, so producers can attend the most convenient location.
Agenda topics include reasons for burning, notification regulations and permits, weather, liability, using a burn contractor for help with burning, equipment, hazards and firebreaks and how to plan and conduct a burn.
Presenters include representatives from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, Kansas Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Weather Service, KSU, as well as local fire and emergency management staff and local producers with burn experience. Presenters vary by workshop, but all will be presenting essentially the same information.
Workshops are hosted by local conservation districts, Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy groups, Kansas local fire departments and emergency management personnel, KFS, KDWP, KSU Extension, producer groups, and USDA agencies in Kansas. Host agency varies by workshop.
Workshops will be in Jan. 3 in Jackson County, Jan. 10 in Crawford County, Jan. 23 in Pottawatommie County and Feb. 28 in Shawnee and Douglas Counties. Dates are still to be determined in Barber and Kearney Counties.
For more information about developing a prescribed burn plan for native grass or acres enrolled in the CRP, contact your local USDA Service Center.