Invasive Species

Every day, invasive species are threatening the health of our nation's vital agricultural and natural lands.  Forests are being infested, cropland production is being negatively impacted, streams and waterways are being choked with weeds, and wildlife species are losing habitat.  These conditions are just a few of the negative impacts that will continue, or will become more severe, if successful actions are not taken to halt and/or reverse this trend.

Technical and Financial Assistance to Producers to Manage Invasive Species and Pests 

NRCS technical assistance for invasive species begins with NRCS invasive species policy that:

  • Directs NRCS to prevent the introduction of invasive species, to provide for their control, and encourage the use of native plants species in restoration activities,
  • encourages partnerships and local assistance for compiling State and Regional invasive species lists and in detection of invasive species,
  • requires assisting with detection, inventorying and monitoring on private lands as part of the conservation planning process, and
  • requires informing landowners of the presence of invasive species and providing appropriate conservation technical assistance. 

NRCS Conservation Practices that are commonly used in Mississippi to directly address invasive species management and control include:

  • Brush management (PC# 314)
  • Herbaceous Weed Control (PC# 315)
  • Prescribed Burning (PC# 338)
  • Prescribed Grazing (PC# 528)
  • Integrated Pest management (PC# 595
  • Early Successional Habitat Development/Management (PC# 647)
  • Forest Stand Improvement (PC# 666)

Invasive Plants

Invasive plants, designated by state or national authorities as threatening to agricultural and/or horticultural crops and/or humans, livestock and native wildlife, included species such as the fast-growing kudzu vine that blankets the eastern, southern and central United States.  This and many other invasive plants compete with desired plants such as crops or native vegetation reducing economic productivity and upsetting ecological integrity.

Over the past several years, the rate of introduction of invasive plants has risen significantly, degrading renewable resources, diminishing the productive capacity of agriculture lands and degrading wildlife habitat.  NRCS primarily helps producers to tackle invasive species problems by providing technical and financial assistance to manage invasive species and pests.  NRCS works internally through its Plant Materials Centers and with many other partners to address the spread of plants that have been classified as noxious or invasive.