There are many names for the clumps of hard, grass-like bunches of Tussock Grass and many different classifications for the plants. Some are native while some are introduced to the area.
Landscapers sell many types of Tussock for ornamental gardens. The plants can find their way to pasturelands. The clumps of stiff stems can take over areas that are needed for grazing. It gets tough to even walk through a patch of tussock as the uneven clumps grow wild. The stems produce seeds that hang in little clusters on the stems. Left to grow without control, a few clumps of tussock can take over large areas of natural feed for the herd.
In some of the wetter areas of the farm, especially flat areas near the river, Tussock Grass grows in patches. Since we do not use chemicals to control unwanted vegetation, and the cows will not graze on the Tussock, we use a rotary mower behind a little tractor to control the tough grass.
Once the grass is mowed the cows will minimally graze on the tender stalks as they regrow. This helps keep the plants from producing the seed clusters which inhibit the growth and spread of the plants.