Florida Landowners Can Apply for Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program

Randall Weiseman Cattle, Citrus, Field Crops, Florida, Forestry, General, Industry News Release, Livestock, Specialty Crops

Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program Now Accepting Applications From Private Landowners

From the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced today that the Florida Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program. Applications for the program will be accepted through July 29, 2016.

“Cogongrass is one of the most aggressive weeds in Florida and is capable of rapidly choking out and displacing our native plant species,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “Through the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program, landowners can help stop the spread of this harmful pest in Florida.”

Cogongrass is an invasive, non-native grass that occurs in Florida and several other southeastern states. Cogongrass infestations negatively affect tree regeneration, growth and survival, as well as wildlife habitat, native plant diversity, forage quality and property values. They also increase the risk of wildfires and alter fire behavior.

“Left untreated, invasive cogongrass can spread quickly, causing long-term problems,” said State Forester Jim Karels. “In addition to reducing the productivity and value of forests and rangelands, it can greatly increase the risk and severity of wildfire.”

The Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program, which is supported through a grant from the USDA Forest Service, is offered for non-industrial private lands in all Florida counties. It provides reimbursement of 50 percent of the cost to treat cogongrass infestations with herbicide for two consecutive years.

To obtain an application form or to learn more about program requirements, contact a local Florida Forest Service county forester or visit the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program webpage. All qualifying applications will be evaluated and ranked for approval.

The Florida Forest Service, a division of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, manages more than one million acres of public forest land while protecting homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire on more than 26 million acres. To learn more about Florida Forest Service programs, visit FloridaForestService.com.

For more information about the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, visit FreshFromFlorida.com.