MS Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks

Invasive Cogongrass Reduced on Southwest Mississippi WMAs

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP) continues to battle cogongrass on wildlife management areas (WMAs). Cogongrass, an exotic plant species from Asia, has aggressively expanded its range across Mississippi. Unfortunately, it is present on most WMAs in South Mississippi.

Cogongrass infestations typically occur in road and utility right of ways, managed openings, sandbars, and other areas of soil disturbance. It can spread quickly from an initial patch to acres in size if left untreated. Cogongrass provides minimal to no value to wildlife. It quickly outcompetes and displaces native vegetation that provides food and cover for wildlife.

Marion Co WMA_Cogongrass _Aug 2016

Each spring, MDWFP personnel locate new cogongrass infestations on WMAs. Spring is an excellent time to identify cogongrass due to its white fluffy flowers and seed head. Herbicide applications are used throughout the growing season to control the invasive species. Repetitive deep disking can also be effective at controlling patches in areas accessible by tractor, and where soil erosion is not a concern. Equipment should be cleaned thoroughly before transported to other locations to help reduce the spread of cogongrass.

For more information regarding wildlife management areas in Mississippi, visit our website at or call us at (601) 432-2199.  Follow us on Facebook at or on Twitter at

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