Plant diversity enhances land possibilities

Something went wrong. Please try again later...
Musk Thistle

Control of noxious and invasive species allows desirable forages to thrive.

Cattle producers long have stewarded their land with an eye on balance, diversity and productivity. Today, better land management tools help ranchers meet very specific goals, unique to their own operations.

“Producers across the country often tell us the best way to keep their operations sustainable is to care for the land in ways that help it sustain diversity,” says Will Hatler, integrated field scientist for Corteva Agriscience.

These producers often manage with an emphasis on both livestock and wildlife. Corteva Agriscience supports those efforts with a broad mix of products and resources.

Wildlife can provide a way for ranchers to diversify their business through fee hunting or agritourism. These ranchers then often look to create or maintain diverse plant communities instead of grass monocultures. They may develop areas where livestock thrive, other spots where wildlife do best and transition zones that benefit both.

Sometimes those long-term management goals need an assist. That’s especially true when it comes to noxious and invasive weeds. These species threaten diverse native plant communities. They quickly crowd out desirable plants and degrade wildlife habitat. When this happens, selective herbicide treatments can help restore balance.

“Herbicide selectivity is of great value to ranchers. A healthy grass and native plant community helps prevent the reinvasion of noxious and invasive plants,” Hatler says. “This diversity also helps prevent erosion and sediment loading in creeks and streams and provides habitat for pollinators, game and other wildlife.


Wildlife use shrubs and forbs for shelter and food. The most desirable shrubs and forbs depend on geographic location and on the operation’s landuse goals.

“A pasture with a well-managed brush stands might be viewed as an excellent tract of wildlife habitat by one producer while another sees it as limiting and unsuitable for cattle,” Hatler says.

In the Southwest, mesquite management with LandVisor™ advanced brush management and Sendero® herbicide helps sculpt the plant community for an operation’s specific goals.

“LandVisor helps producers target control of unwanted brush to areas that generate the greatest return,” says Chad Cummings, integrated field scientist at Corteva Agriscience. “The selectivity of Sendero herbicide controls mesquite without harming many of the plants wildlife need.”

The story is similar with noxious and invasive species, such as Canada thistle, knapweeds and musk thistle. On certain sites, broad-spectrum treatment options can run contrary to diverse land management goals. But Milestone® herbicide controls many tough annual, biennial and perennial broadleaf weeds, and it’s safe to desirable grasses, forbs and other important plants.


For situations where noxious and invasive weeds have established, there’s DuraCor® herbicide. DuraCor is the best option to more quickly reset the land. Tank-mix options make DuraCor an excellent partner for many integrated vegetation management programs.

“DuraCor plays an important role in integrated programs designed to reclaim land lost to these species,” Hatler says. “Often, these programs incorporate reseeding with competitive perennial forage grasses.” Including DuraCor helps keep broadleaf weeds at bay until the newly seeded grasses take off.

The Range & Pasture portfolio from Corteva Agriscience provides a lot of options for prescriptive solutions. Contact your Corteva Agriscience Range & Pasture Specialist to work through a plan to accomplish your goals.


Connect with Range & Pasture:


™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Under normal field conditions, DuraCor® is nonvolatile. DuraCor and Milestone® have no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with DuraCor or Milestone and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. Sendero® is covered by U.S. Patent No. 10,412,964 and other pending U.S. patent applications, international patents, and pending international patent applications. DuraCor, Milestone and Sendero are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Always read and follow label directions. © 2021 Corteva.

Range & Pasture Steward Newsletter

Learn about seasonal opportunities, rancher success stories, and management strategies for pastures and rangeland.

Explore Articles ⟶

Subscribe ⟶