Alabama’s Initiative: Financial Help for Landowners Combatting Cogongrass

Alabama landowners impacted by the non-native, invasive noxious weed known as Cogongrass may soon be eligible to apply for a third year of financial relief, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.

According to the AFC, the application period for the Cogongrass Mitigation Program will be open from February 20 to March 29, or until the 150-applicant threshold is achieved.

Cogongrass, which is native to Asia, Australia, and South Africa, initially arrived in the United States in the early 1900s via the port of Mobile.

“This plant is a significant threat to the global biodiversity of native ecosystems,” the Alliance for Conservation of Nature states. “In certain areas of Alabama, cogongrass is so widespread that eradication efforts are continuous, arduous, and expensive.”

The program aims to minimize the number of infested acres, eradicate cogongrass’s detrimental impacts on existing ecosystems, and increase the productivity of weed-impacted locations. AFC claims that the program also aims to slow and prevent the spread of cogongrass into new parts of the state.

Applicants must be individual, non-industrial landowners. While the landowner does not have to dwell in Alabama or even on the afflicted property, the affected land must be in Alabama. According to AFC, there are no minimum or maximum acreage ownership requirements for enrollment, and the program is free.

The USDA Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant Protection & Quarantine (PPQ) is funding this project.

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