Gophers can be a nuisance to hay and livestock producers, and springtime is a good time to address them, said an expert.
Gopher burrowing can cause damage to equipment and livestock injuries, said Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, forage specialist, Overton. The rodents also can damage crops by covering available forage and by consuming plant roots and vegetation.
“We see more gophers in the sandy soils of East Texas,” she said. “The soil is easier to burrow and build mounds and tunnel systems. Gophers can cause significant issues in a pasture if they’re not controlled. Their mounds can be rough on equipment.”
Gophers spend mostly solitary lives below ground. A single gopher can burrow a tunnel system that extends as long as 800 feet, covers an acre and ranges in depth from a few inches to several feet, according to AgriLife Extension.
Corriher-Olson said most producers view them as pests and choose eradication measures to control them. Control operations should be conducted during the spring and fall when gophers are most active near the surface, according to AgriLife Extension.
The strategies to address gophers in hay pastures differs slightly to control methods around a home because of the size and scale of the area to cover, Corriher-Olson said.
Homeowners can deploy a variety of methods including trapping and pesticide. Pesticide is the most effective method when it comes to treating pastures effectively, she said.
Learn more about managing Gophers.
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