In times of drought, when some livestock producers looks across their pasture or rangeland and the only green plants they see are brush, they tends to recognize that these plants are robbing valuable soil moisture from desirable forage plants that could be sustaining their livestock.  Managing undesirable plants like weeds and brush is a goal that all livestock producers should seek along with a plan to implement these actions.

Pestman, a new online application for weed and brush control, is a decision-support system that provides sound pest management options associated with weed and brush control, as well as costs associated with the options considered. This tool allows managers to analyze the economic and environmental risks associated with controlling pests invading our rangelands and pastures.  This Internet-based tool can be found at http://pestman.tamu.edu/#0

The application is a collaborative effort of federal and state agencies, including U.S. Department of Agriculture-Risk Management Agency, NRCS, New Mexico State University, AgriLife Research, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, the Texas A&M System, and private industry, including Grazingland Management Systems Inc., and AgForce consulting companies.

This tool will allow users to develop an economic analysis and see what the cost of a brush control treatment would be over a 10-year to 20-year period, as it provides the users with cost estimates of mechanical and weed and brush treatments. Costs of treatments are updated annually.

The user starts by selecting the pest plant, state of residence (currently only valid in Texas and New Mexico), and plant density. The Pestman program returns the best available treatments and their effectiveness along with cost per acre and application rates for chemical treatments. The user is then asked to select a treatment alternative. Log onto: http://pestman.tamu.edu.

I have used this tool and it is excellent as it provides a wealth of information regarding the plants that you are investigating, including pictures, so the next time you are browsing the web, go check out this web site and do some online weed and brush management.