Cheatgrass is nothing new in the West. Ranchers have fought invasive annual grasses for generations. In fact, the only new thing is there seems to be more of them with ventenata and medusahead being seen more across the region. But there is a new tool that ranchers have to combat these foes.

In June, Bayer announced its new rangeland restoration herbicide, Rejuvra. Next week on August 18th, they’re holding a free webinar to talk about how the new herbicide works and answer rancher questions.

Steve Saunders is a rangeland management specialist who works with Bayer and he told Northern Ag Network that Rejuvra is an impressive tool that can really make a difference to the health of the rangeland.

“This new herbicide changes the game,” Saunders says. “We’re able to apply 5 ounces per acre and we do that when it’s hot and dry and everything is cured out. We spray this herbicide out and then it needs a little bit of rainfall, a quarter to a half inch, to incorporate into the soil. Then it’s laying there waiting for that new seed to germinate. Once it does, the mode of action kills that emerging root radical and cheatgrass never emerges again. We get about 3 times increase in forage production as a result of reducing and eliminating that competition.”

One of the aspects that producers will really like about Rejuvra, is it offers multi-year control of cheatgrass with one application. “In Montana the oldest work we have done is 5 years and we’re still seeing control in the high 90 percent,” says Saunders. “In Colorado, there’s some older stuff, 6 and 7 years, that still shows excellent control.”

Long-term, Saunders says that could make a big difference on the impact of cheatgrass to native pasture. “As the seed life of cheatgrass lives somewhere between 4.5 to 5 years in the soil, we’re really starting to deplete that seed reserve. So, we’re getting closer to eliminating the future generations having to deal with cheatgrass.”

For ranchers though, it all comes down to dollars and cents. There has to be a measurable difference to the profitability of the operation. “For most ranchers, their rangeland is the largest financial asset that they own and it’s important that they keep that production up,” says Saunders. “We’re seeing in 4 years about a 75% return on investment. In 5 years, with another year of grass, we’re seeing 125% return on investment by treating cheatgrass or ventenata with Rejuvra. So it’s really a solid program that I think ranchers can take it to the bank and see an effect on their bottom line the next fall when they’re weaning calves.”

Steve Saunders says there are other benefits too, it can help improve wildlife habitat by allowing the recolonization of grasses, forbs and shrubs as well as reduce wildfire risk by decreasing the availability of fuel in late summer.

“We’re finding so many great attributes to this thing and it’s the best thing I’ve seen in my tenure of doing this and it’s the most economically justifiable thing too,” Saunders says.

If you’re interested in learning more, tune in to the webinar on Tuesday the 18th from 1-2 pm. Ranchers can register at www.Rejuvra.com

 

12 thoughts on “New Tool to Combat Invasive Annual Grasses

    • Good morning Gene,

      Rejuvra costs $8.55 per ounce and it is applied at 5 oz per acre. I realize that seems expensive, but amortized out across the lifespan of the herbicide, its less expensive than other options when depleting the soil seed bank, which is key to the long tern control of annual plants. If I can answer more questions or further explain the full spectrum of how Rejuvra works and its payback, feel free to give me a call at 307-461-3337 or at justin.hossfeld@bayer.com

      Thank you for your interest in Rejuvra,

      Justin

    • Hi Russ,

      The product is on its way to distribution now and will be available to retailers very soon. Your Crop Protection retailer has access to the product, but if you would like to reach out to me with where you prefer to buy your herbicide, I can work with you and the retailer to make sure we get you what you need. I can be reached at 307-461-3337 or justin.hossfeld@bayer.com

      Thanks,

      Justin

  1. Sounds promising. I am concerned about the need for rainfall at an exact time after application. What then? Thanks

    • Hi Linda,

      Rejuvra is very sunlight resistant and binds quickly to the organic matter in the soil as soon as it is moved in. One of the strengths of Rejuvra is the ability to stay on the forage waiting to be incorporated and not lose efficacy. The one thing we need to consider is, if we apply now ahead of the new germination of invasive grasses, we want to try to avoid displacing the herbicide with livestock until it’s incorporated. My advice has been is to time your application with your grazing rotations.

      Please feel free to contact me to discuss this further at 307-461-3337 or at justin.hossfeld@bayer.com.

      Thanks for your good questions and interest in Rejuvra,

      Justin

    • Hi Arthur,

      One of the great benefits of Rejuvra is it’s long term residual in the soil, so in most cases it’s best to gain temporary control of the invasive species with glyphosate or Plateau, then seed and achieve germination of the desired species. Once the desired species have germinated and emerged from the soil surface, you can then apply Rejuvra to control the invasive species that are sure to follow. There are other methods, but they are more detailed in how they work. Please feel free to give me a call at 307-461-3337 or email me at justin.hossfeld@bayer.com.

      Thanks,

      Justin

    • Good question Keon,

      Rejuvra is more selective that Plateau and that is from its sight of action and mode of action. Plateau has some pre-emergence activity but also has post emergent activity meaning it’s present the soil, but is also absorbed by the live plants present at application. Plateau is metabolized by the target species and controls them in the conventional way most herbicides work. The down side to this is, Plateau can cause injury to non-target species as well. Rejuvra has no foliar activity and doesn’t impact a live plant, what Rejuvra does is it binds tightly in the top 1/2" to 1" of the soil and controls the invasive species seeds as they try to germinate. Once its incorporated, its not present in plant tissue or affects perennial desirable species. I have attached a link to the tech sheet on Rejuvra which helps explain it further. Fell free to contact me at 307-461-3337 to discuss it further.

      Thanks for your interest in Rejuvra,

      Justin

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