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New UW extension bulletin examines prickly pear control


Research into the management of prickly pear cactus and its ecology is described in a new bulletin from the University of Wyoming Cooperative Extension Service.

The authors of Prickly pear cactus, ecology and management, MP-111.11, examine control methods carried out in Converse County and effects of spray treatment versus mechanical means. Also examined is the foraging efficiency of cattle, determined by average bites per step.

Prickly pear cactus (Opuntia polyacantha), frequently referred to as plains prickly pear, is a widespread, thorny, succulent plant common throughout the Great Plains. Plains prickly pear has been identified as a serious impediment to livestock production on more than 5 million acres of rangeland in eastern Wyoming and eastern Colorado.

The bulletin's authors are Michael Smith, UW CES range specialist, Michael Henn, former graduate student in the Department of Renewable Resources at UW, and Kelly Crane, assistant professor at the University of Idaho.

The bulletin is available for free download at http://ces.uwyo.edu/PUBS/MP111_11.pdf. Hard copies, for $2 each, can be ordered by accessing http://ces.uwyo.edu/, clicking the Publications link at the top of the page then the Search Bulletins link, and typing MP-111.11 in the Publication Number box and hitting Search Number. Click on the publication title, and the link for requesting a hard copy will be available.

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