Hartgrove Ranch is filled with wild life and beautiful green grass — but about a year ago Mck Hartgrove discovered something deadly living among it.
“Nobody really knows how to kill it,” says Mck Hartgrove.
What’s seen as small bushel of grass is actually an invasive plant that overruns native plants and eliminates habitat for animals — it’s called Mexican Needlegrass.
“They looked great, when I first saw them, I went ‘Okay, this is a new seed they gave me and this is going to be great for my wildlife’,” says Hartgrove.
Invasive plant species like this replace the plants that native animals depend on for food.
“Cattle didn’t eat it, sheep didn’t eat it, goats didn’t eat it. Then I noticed that deer weren’t eating it, then it started spreading out into the pastures.”
“My problem is the only thing they’re aware of that kills is it Roundup and when we use Roundup, what do we do, we kill everything.”
Mck says he’s experimented and sought help for a chemical formula to get rid of the plant and has even attempted to burn it — but it continues to grow back — and with summer coming around, it’s going to make things a lot worse.
Mexican Needlegrass sheds thousands of seeds and Mck says he wants to make other ranchers aware of this noxious plant.
“The plan now is I’m listening to the USDA and I’m listening to the chemical company and I’m going to do what they say because I’m kind of lost, there’s not a silver bullet on how you’re going to kill this stuff.”
Mck has spent hundreds of dollars on chemical just on his pasture — not including the other 22 damaged acres.