SOURCE: Nebraska Pheasants and Quail Forever conservation organization @ www.NebraskaPF.com
Should I or shouldn’t I … The age old question about weeds and weed control – Every year about this time, landowners are faced with the question about what to do about annual weeds. Not noxious weeds, but things that show up every year like sunflowers, ragweed, kochia, foxtail, etc. These are common weeds of Nebraska that show up in the early grass plantings, around abandoned buildings and other odd areas.
While they may be an annoyance to look at, they have great value to wildlife, especially for quail, pheasant and songbirds. Weed seeds and the insects they attract are important for chicks that have high metabolic requirements as they grow and develop. As chicks develop, their growth and survival is dependent upon the amount of protein they are able to consume.
Weed seeds such as nettle, ragweed, common sunflower and foxtail rank high for the amount of protein and fat they contain. Interestingly, the seeds produced by these plants actually have greater nutritional value for birds than many of our agricultural crops!
By leaving odd areas with weed cover as wildlife habitat, you’ll be increasing wildlife survival by creating a “Natural Food Plot” that is high in the protein they need!