Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211


Agricultural News

Controlling Gophers Takes Dose of Persistence and Wise Counsel from OSU Extension

Tue, 19 Aug 2014 12:20:39 CDT

Controlling Gophers Takes Dose of Persistence and Wise Counsel from OSU Extension The famed groundskeeper from Bushwood Country Club in the movie “Caddyshack,” Carl Spackler, became so frustrated with a pesky gopher that he used multiple sticks of dynamite to blast his furry nemesis to pieces. While this management technique is a bit extreme, and not recommended, many landowners in the state can relate to the feelings of wanting to do so.
Gophers construct and live in underground tunnels and leave mounds of soil in evidence of their excavation efforts. While sometimes considered a pest, pocket gophers can be valuable because they contribute to the formation and conditioning of the soil, and provide food for larger predators.
However, controlling pocket gophers may be necessary when they eat garden crops, clover, roots of fruit trees, shrubs, alfalfa, or their digging activities interfere with harvesting hay or grain.
“Gophers populations can be reduced over a considerable area with persistent control efforts,” said Dwayne Elmore, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist. “Control is best conducted when gophers are most active near the surface, usually in the spring or fall.”
Gopher activity is evident through the mounds of soil left on the surface. The two most effective gopher management techniques are poisoning and trapping. For larger areas, with more gophers doing more damage, Elmore suggests contacting wildlife services who will know what is currently legal and may even conduct the control if it is impacting agricultural production.
Trapping is the most practical method on smaller areas such as lawns or where few gophers are involved.  Two traps of appropriate size should be placed in the main runway, one set in each direction. There should be little disturbance to the surrounding area as possible.
Once the traps are set in the tunnel, cover the opening in the burrow with a clod or handful of grass to cut off most of the light. Traps should be fastened to a stake with a light wire as gophers instinctively cover open burrows to keep out enemies.
“After traps are set, tramp down the tops of all the mounds so that mounds made by the gophers you miss will be evident on your next visit,” said Elmore. “For efficient use of traps and for best results, visit trap sets morning and evening.”
In large numbers, pocket gophers can have a major negative economical effect. However, before a decision is made on whether or not controlling gophers is necessary, landowners should be aware of the animal’s long-term benefits.
“Management is preferred because it recognizes the value of gophers and the impossibility of eradication,” said Elmore. “Trying to eradicate any species upsets the integrity of the ecosystems in a manner wecannot possible predict from our current knowledge of the structure and function of those ecosystems.”

(by Sean Hubbard of OSU Ag Communications, Stillwater, Oklahoma)



WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI


Top Agricultural News

  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m. Friday April 3, 2020  Sat, 04 Apr 2020 16:32:49 CDT
  • Friday, April 3, 2020 Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Fri, 03 Apr 2020 15:39:59 CDT
  • Global Changes Could Impact U.S. Farmers' Spring Planting Intentions Says USDA Chief Economist Rob Johansson  Fri, 03 Apr 2020 14:30:08 CDT
  • Despite Global Challenges, U.S. Pork and Beef Exports on Record Pace through February  Fri, 03 Apr 2020 14:07:52 CDT
  • USDA Adds Additional Flexibilities for Crop Insurance to Support America’s Farmers and Ranchers  Fri, 03 Apr 2020 13:18:47 CDT
  • Coronavirus Impact Ripples Across Farm Country  Fri, 03 Apr 2020 14:15:59 CDT
  • *Deadline Extended* OKFB Accepting Applications for $1,000 Scholarships  Fri, 03 Apr 2020 11:39:47 CDT
  • National Sorghum Producers to Open Board Director Applications  Fri, 03 Apr 2020 10:17:47 CDT

  • More Headlines...


    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma City Farm Show KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment AFR Insurance Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

    Our Road to Rural Prosperity sponsors!


    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com

    © 2008-2020 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.