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UW Extension compiles video series on plants toxic to livestock

UW Extension Rangeland Management Specialist J. Derek Scasta created the "Taming Toxic Plants" series.

Larkspur, a toxic plant (Manfred Richter/ Pixabay)

GILLETTE, Wyo. — Ranchers concerned about livestock poisonings from toxic plants can check out a new YouTube series, UW Extension announced today.

UW Extension Rangeland Management Specialist J. Derek Scasta, who created the “Taming Toxic Plants” series, said toxic plants are often among the first rangeland plants to green in the western U.S.

“As we head into the spring and then summer, the risk of livestock poisonings from toxic plants becomes a significant issue, and the recent heavy snow has some folks concerned,” Scasta said.


Each video in the series targets a specific type of toxic plant, what it looks like, where it tends to occur, its impact on livestock and recommendations for prevention and treatment, the release said. So far, the playlist covers death camas poisoning, pine needle abortion, larkspur poisoning, grass tetany, horse chewing disease from Yellow Starthistle and Russian Knapweed and common plant toxins, like alkaloids.

Prevention tends to be more realistic than treatment, Scasta said.

Anyone with questions can contact Scasta at jscasta@uwyo.edu or 307-766-2337. To learn more about UW Extension, visit www.uwyo.edu/uwe or call 307-766-5124.