Covington County Soil and Water Conservation District announces signup for 2021 Cogongrass Control Program

Published 5:27 pm Friday, May 21, 2021

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The Covington County Soil & Water Conservation District is announcing their signup for the 2021 Cogongrass Control Program for interested Covington County landowners. Cogongrass is one of the 10 worst weeds in the world because it can be expensive to control, and it can destroy entire ecosystems, yards, timber stands and pastures. Worst yet, this invasive is steadily marching across Alabama.

To combat this threat, the Covington County Soil & Water Conservation District is partnering with multiple agencies such as the AFC, USFS, LLA, ALDOT, Covington County Commission, and utility companies just to name a few.

Today, the Covington County Cogongrass Control Program is in its fourth year and has effectively treated 59.5 infested acres of Cogongrass. These infestations treated with this program range in size from a few square feet to several acres.

Projections show an estimated 2,765 acres of cogongrass in in Covington County alone. “We are working as a partnership to increase the acreage treated annually, until infestations in Covington County are eradicated,” Chris Mead with the Soil Conservationist Natural Resources Conservation Service said. “I am personally aware of a single Cogongrass infestation that is over 40 acres in size, and I want to see it gone. Landowners should not allow this aggressive invasive to take further root in Covington County, but every year the numbers continue to increase. Why? My explanation is this problem just hasn’t ranked high enough on our list of priorities, yet. Consider this, Cogongrass is invading areas occupied by native plant species that our native wildlife species utilize as food sources.”

Cogongrass is not palatable, nor is it a good substitute food source. Forestland invaded by Cogongrass is more susceptible to wildfire because it burns at much higher temperatures than fuels produced by our native plant species. Also, equipment used for tillage, moving dirt, baling hay is transferring this invasive everywhere the equipment, dirt, or hay goes.

If left alone, the Cogongrass infestations will increase in number and grow larger costing more and more to eradicate as time goes by.

For $100, landowners with Cogongrass can sign up for an Assessment of up to 40 acres. After the initial Assessment has been completed, a partnering agency can treat the Cogongrass at no cost to the landowner. Funding for the Program is first come first serve until funds are exhausted.

Covington County landowners with Cogongrass should apply at the Covington County Soil & Water Conservation District Office located in the USDA Service Center at 23952 Highway 55, Suite 1, Andalusia, Alabama 36420. The signup will be on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 11 a.m. thru September 2021. For more information those interested should call (334) 222-3519, Ext #3 for assistance.