Cost-Share Program Now Available to Help Fight Invasive, Destructive Plant

Nov 03, 15 Cost-Share Program Now Available to Help Fight Invasive, Destructive Plant

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services announced today that the Florida Forest Service is now offering a cost-share program to help landowners fight cogongrass, a highly invasive and destructive plant. The Florida Forest Service is now accepting applications for the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program.

“Florida is a hotbed for pests and disease of all sorts, and cogongrass is widely considered one of the worst weeds in the world,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Adam H. Putnam. “It is vital that landowners take action to stop the spread of this harmful pest before it damages Florida’s landscape any further.”

Cogongrass is an invasive, non-native grass that occurs in Florida and several other southeastern states. Cogongrass infestations negatively affect tree regeneration, growth and survival, as well as wildlife habitat, native plant diversity, forage quality and property values. They also increase the risk of wildfires and alter fire behavior.

“Invasive cogongrass spreads quickly and aggressively, causing long-term problems if left untreated,” said State Forester Jim Karels. “In addition to reducing the productivity and value of forests and rangelands, it can greatly increase the risk and severity of wildfire.”

The Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program, which is supported through a grant from the U.S. Forest Service, is offered for non-industrial private lands in all Florida counties. It provides reimbursement of 50 percent of the cost to treat cogongrass infestations with herbicide for two consecutive years.

Applications for the program will be accepted through Feb. 29, 2016. To obtain an application form or to learn more about program requirements, contact a local Florida Forest Service county forester or visit the Cogongrass Treatment Cost-Share Program web page. All qualifying applications will be evaluated and ranked for approval.

The Florida Forest Service manages more than one million acres of public forest land while protecting 26 million acres of homes, forestland and natural resources from the devastating effects of wildfire. Learn more about Florida Forest Service programs.

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