Planting Winter Forages

Grazing arrowleaf clover

Late September-early October is the ideal time for planting cool season annual forages such as annual ryegrass, small grains (rye, wheat or oats) and/or cool season annual legumes. Anytime we are incorporating new forages into our production systems it is important to make sure to match the forage species to your location (soil type, average annual rainfall, intended use, etc). If you have questions about forages appropriate for your area contact your local county extension agent. Three methods for establishing cool-season annual grasses include planting into a prepared… Read More →

Pasture Management – Just the Facts

Summer stockers on well-managed Tifton 85 bermudagrass

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants combine solar energy, atmospheric CO2, and water, within green leaf tissue (chlorophyll) to produce carbohydrates. Plants use these carbohydrates as a source of energy to carry on basic metabolic processes. In short, while overly simplistic, plants can create their own food using the simple ingredients of sunlight, water, and CO2. Plants do require, however, adequate green leaf (photosynthetic tissue) in order to carry out photosynthesis. Without these four main ingredients plants cannot survive.  As managers there is not a lot we… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Broadleaf Marshelder


Broadleaf Marshedler (Iva annua L.) is a warm season annual in the Sunflower family. Also called broadleaf sump weed. The leaves are situated in pairs across from each other on the stem. Marshelder grows in wet, moist areas, disturbed areas, and roadsides. This plant germinates in the early spring in February or March. The flowers, which resemble those of the ragweed group, are inconspicuous. It flowers in later summer and fall. Select Herbicide Options: Weedmaster 2, 4-D GrazonNext HL Grazon P+D Milestone PastureGard Chaparral (for bermudagrass pastures, will… Read More →

Upcoming Events

RMU Attendees learning how to collect hay samples for analysis.

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. For local programs contact your County Extension Agent.                      

Spring is Here?

AgriLife Logo

With the passing 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… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Spiny Sow Thistle (Annual)

Mature Spiny Sow Thistle with Yellow Flowers

Many growers make no distinction at all between perennial and annual sow thistles. That’s because all three versions are tall weeds with yellow, dandelion-like flowers and stems that produce a milky sap. Seedlings of the two species(Sonchus asper & Sonchus oleraceus) are practically indistinguishable, and may be difficult to tell apart even at spray stage without examining the root system. Annual and perennial sow thistle will be covered in an upcoming post. Spiny Sow Thistle (Sonchus asper): An annual that has bluish-green leaves and stems that emit a… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Mayweed chamomile

Mayweed Chamomile

Mayweed chamomile, often called dog fennel, stinking chamomile, or stinking mayweed is an annual bushy broadleaf plant that germinates in early spring. Mayweed chamomile inhabits crop fields, roadsides, pastures, hay meadows and other disturbed, unmanaged sites. Leaves are alternate to one another along the stem, are lobed to deeply divided, and nearly hairless to hairy. Mayweed chamomile can have a spreading form or be an erect plant, reaching 6 inches to 3 feet long. A distinguishing characteristic of mayweed is it’s unpleasant odor. Flowering takes place from spring… Read More →

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 →

Weed of the Week: Maypop Passionflower

Maypop Passionflower

Weed of the Week: Maypop Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata L.) Perennial vine often found in cultivated areas, fields, pastures, roadsides and waste sites. Leaves are palmately shaped with 3 lobes. Flowers are bluish purple and white. Stems can trail along the ground or climb on other vegetation.  Stems are only slightly hairy and may reach 6 1/2 feet in length. Roots initially develop as a taproot but eventually develop a very deep perennial rootstock from which sprouts can emerge. A relatively large (1 1/2 – 3 inches long) berry that is green… Read More →

Drought Lingers in Texas

Drought Forecast

Parts of Texas enjoyed a fairly good spring, but since late May, there has been precious little rainfall occurring over much of the state.  A look at the most recent drought monitor map indicates about 88% of the state was in some form of drought and the long range forecast through October 31 indicates most of the state will remain under dry conditions.  If you are planning on wintering livestock, now is the time to locate and purchase any hay you will need.  Or, if you have opportunity… Read More →