Can prescribed fire be used to manage sericea lespedeza?

Fire is one management tool that can be used to control the dominance of sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata). Data from Kansas and Oklahoma suggests growing-season fire can be more detrimental to sericea than dormant-season fire. Prescribed fire can limit sericea seed production if burned before the plant produces seed. Following fire, sericea is palatable to livestock as tannin levels are lower immediately following germination or resrouting as compared to a mature plant. Using a patch-burning system (e.g., burning a portion of a pasture each year) higher levels of sericea consumption by livestock have been demonstrated as cattle concentrate or continuously graze on the recently burned patch. Using patch-burning, coverage of sericea has increased at a lower rate as compared to more traditional fire and grazing applications where the entire pasture is burned. In some cases, a combination of burning, grazing and herbicide applications may be necessary to control sericea.