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Mowing can be a useful management tool as long as it is not used too frequently or incorrectly. The bulk of grassland wildlife nesting and brood rearing occurs from April 1 thru August 1. Mowing roadsides, field borders, pastures, and grasslands after August 1 or later will help avoid destruction of late broods of ground­ nesting birds and late-born fawns. Mowing conducted between August 1 and October 1 will allow plants to grow tall enough to provide sufficient winter cover for wildlife while still controlling woody vegetation. Some other things to keep in mind:

  • Start mowing in the middle of the yard or pasture and mow toward the outer borders. This will allow wildlife to move to other cover.
  • When mowing with a tractor, attach a flushing bar to the front to push wildlife away from the cutters and wheels.
  • Where possible, leave field borders and drainages uncut to allow tall grasses and shrubs to grow.

PARTNERS

Illinois Department of Natural Resources Link
The National Great Rivers Research & Education Center Link 2wav Link

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