Weed of the Week: Thistles

Mature thistle in pasture

If left uncontrolled, thick thistle stands can reduce grazing and result in less forage production. A single thistle plant can produce at least 4,000 seeds, which increases the chance for higher thistle populations in the pasture the following year. Consequently, management practices need to be conducted prior to flower formation for effective thistle control. Even if thistles have not infested your pasture in the past, it is ideal that your pastures are scouted in late fall through mid-spring (November to March) to ensure that thistles do not get… Read More →

Pesticide Applicator Trainings

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TWO EVENTS   December 1, 2016 (5 pesticide CEUs: 1 Laws & Regulations; 1 IPM and 3 general) Weed Control in Pastures and Hay Meadows (2 hours) Getting the Most out of Your Sprayer Equipment Beef Cattle External Parasite Control Records, Your Best PPE December 6, 2016 (5 Pesticide CEUs: 1 Laws & Regulations; 2 IPM and 2 general) Pesticides and Pollinators Mosquito Control Update Turfgrass Insect Pest Update Wild Pig Control in Urban Environments On Site Registration Cost: $35/person (includes lunch) Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center… Read More →

Upcoming Events

Texas A&M AgriLife Research & Extension Center in Overton, TX

Don’t forget to cheek out the “Events” tab for upcoming events in College Station as well as Overton, TX! Events occurring through out the year will be posted under the “Events” tab. Upcoming Events: Bennett Trust Ladies Conference; FLYER Ranch Management University Pesticide Applicators Training; FLYER 4 States Beef Cattle Conference; FLYER     For local programs contact your County Extension Agent.        

Fall Armyworms

Fall Army Worms on Boot
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Gerald Evers

With rain in East Texas, fall army worm infestations may develop (or already have) in pastures and hayfields. Below is information on management of fall armyworm in pastures and hay and a list of labeled insecticides (click on “Armyworm Fact Sheet”). As always remember to read the label of all pesticides before use! Armyworm Fact Sheet                   Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson Forage Extension Specialist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Overton, TX vacorriher@ag.tamu.edu

Potassium is for Persistence

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We rely heavily on our bermudagrass pastures and hay meadows during the summer in some parts of Texas. Often times we are disappointed with production, see a thinning of our stand and/or see disease like symptoms. This is often times referred to as “Bermudagrass Decline.” We quickly blame weather. Granted weather can have an impact on each of those issues. However, there is often a deeper problem that we need to access. Primary Causes: Low Potassium (K) Fertility: A deficiency in K will result in poor stress tolerance,… Read More →

Bermudagrass Stem Maggot

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The bermudagrass stem maggot (Atherigona reversura), a new pest of bermudagrass forage in Texas has been reported in multiple counties for 2016 so far. The bermudagrass stem maggot is native to south Asia (from Japan westward to Pakistan) and was first reported in the United States in Georgia in 2010. This pest only infests bermudagrass and stargrass (Cynodon spp.). The fly (yellow with black head) lays its eggs within the stem of the bermudagrass plant. Once the egg hatches the larva, or maggot, (white with black head, 1/8” –… Read More →

Grasshoppers!

Grasshoppers resting on a weed

There are about 150 species of grasshoppers in the state of Texas, but 90% of the damage to crops, gardens, trees, and pastures is caused by just 5 species. Grasshoppers deposit their eggs 1/2 to 2 inches below the soil surface in pod-like structures. Each egg pod consists of 20 to 120 eggs. Egg pods are very resistant to cold and can easily survive the winter if the soil is not disturbed. Grasshoppers deposit eggs in fallow fields, ditches, fencerows, and weedy areas, as well as in crop… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Grassbur (field sandbur, sandbur, etc.)

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Grassbur is a grass weed that is very troublesome in pastures and hay meadows throughout Texas. Most grassburs are easily recognized in the mature stage of growth when the “bur” seed heads become apparent. The bur itself is actually a “capsule” that usually contains from 1 to 3 seeds. We tend to think of the grassbur species as a warm season annual plant. However, many grassburs are classified as perennials because they can survive from one year to the next. The presence of grassburs can be an indication… Read More →

Sprayer Calibration

Sprayer Calibration

Sprayer Calibration is a critical step for a pesticide applicator in making sure the correct amount of pesticide is applied to the target site. Calibration is the process by which the amount of pesticide being applied per a unit of area is determined. This step is most often skipped because we get in a hurry, we calibrated it once a long time ago (surely nothing has changed) or we forget. By skipping sprayer calibration the applicator may be applying too much pesticide or not enough pesticide. If too little… Read More →

Spring is Here?

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With the coming of the First Day of Spring (March 20th) and the most recent warm weather and sunny days we start thinking about our warm season pastures and hay meadows. A few things to keep in mind as our warm season forages begin to break dormancy… Soil Test!  Soil Test!  Soil Test!  If you have not done so for this year, please consider obtaining a soil test now.  There is not much that can be done regarding the high cost of fertilizer, but there is much we can… Read More →