The pastures I am rehabilitating are overrun with yucca. Yucca is a drought hearty invasive plant. They reproduce by means of seed pods and an extensive root system that sends up new shoots. Last year I was using a combination of a herbicide chemical spray and shredding to start getting them eradicated. Does anyone know if pigs will eat yucca and their roots? If so, it will save me a lot of time and money.
Im using a front tractorbucket to scrape the tops off, leaving the roots in the ground. If i do it right they slide into the bucket. Its too early to tell if this stops it vs slows it, but so far i dont see herbicides needed. Im not trying to get rid of it. Just trying prevent large patches that prevent grazing. It doesnt take long either.
Im more curious how they breakdown. Particularly how long the needle stays. Some went in compost pile with manure, some are stacked in a pile by themselves.
Ron Metz wrote: Does anyone know if pigs will eat yucca and their roots? If so, it will save me a lot of time and money.
Although pigs are a distant relative to the peccaries/havelinas, the latter are known to forage on yucca root:
"Javelina are opportunistic feeders, eating the flowers, fruits, nuts, and berries of a great variety of
plants. Prickly pear cactus makes up the major portion of their diet, however, along with agaves,
yucca roots, and other desert succulents." -- http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/conservation/CGMP/CGMP-Javelina.pdf
Can you dig up a few of the roots and test them on your own or a neighbor's pigs?
“The most important decision we make is whether we believe we live in a friendly or hostile universe.”― Albert Einstein
Not sure about hogs, but there was a SARE grant written by some folks in my home part of the state (KS) a few years ago to examine the efficacy of grazing Wagyu & Wagyu-X cattle on yucca.
It seems to me that as much trouble it causes on the drier parts of the Central High Plains that SARE and possibly some Land-Grants, etc., might take an interest in funding research to examine those possibilities.
If you do like Wayne suggested and knock the tops off leaving the roots in the ground it will be easier for the pigs to get to the roots.
I know deer will eat every flower on our property and in lean times will go after the heart which doesn't kill the plant only leaves a mess of broken leaves.
Invasive plants are Earth's way of insisting we notice her medicines.
Everyone learns what works by learning what doesn't work.
posted 1 year ago
The adult yucca leaves are very fibrous and have a sharp needle tip at the end of the leaf. Jack rabbits and pack rats will eat them when there is nothing else. I know when you run over them with a shredder, they will sure slow down the rpm's of the shredder. Two years ago I cut some adult yuccas down at the base of the plant using a hoe. The next year several new shoots came up from the root system of each plant. I'm thinking if I continue to shred the mature plants, pastured pigs will then have access to the roots and if new tender shoots do come up pigs might be more willing to eat that new growth. Thanks for all the input.