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

SWK-04-020 Deleon0011

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 →

The Sugarcane Aphid: A New Pest of Grain and Forage Sorghum (New Publication)

AgriLife Logo

Entomologist from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension have just released a publication on the Sugarcane Aphid (SCA). This publication summarizes the latest information on biology, scouting, economic thresholds and insecticides for SCA control in grain and forage sorghum. We are still learning more about this new pest and this publication will be updated as new research becomes available. Website: Texas Sugarcane Aphid News Publication: SCA Management Guide        

Weed of the Week: Johnsongrass

Johnsongrass

Weed of the Week: Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense): Johnsongrass is a warm season perennial grass that is one of the most common and troublesome weeds in agriculture. It is commonly found on roadsides, pastures and hay fields. It grows erect from 3 to 6 feet. Johnsongrass spreads by seeds and rhizomes (underground stems). The seedhead is a large, open panicle often with a purplish tint. Johnsongrass leaves have a large white midrib and a smooth, glossy appearance. Stems are smooth with no hairs.   Select Herbicide Options: Outrider (for… 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 →

Weed Control For Newly Sprigged Bermudagrass

Sprigging Bermudagrass

Weed Control for Newly Sprigged Bermudagrass… WEED CONTROL FOR NEWLY SPRIGGED BERMUDAGRASS. “One of the many challenges producers face when establishing a new stand of bermudagrass is initial weed pressure. Prior to land preparation for establishment of sprigs, it is important to eradicate any unwanted vegetation.”        

Spring is Here?

AgriLife Logo

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 →

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 →

Does a New Year Mean a New Pasture/Hay Meadow?

A Coastal Bermudagrass hay meadow that has lost production

It’s always best to initiate the planning process the year prior to actual planting. So start planning in 2015 to plant in 2016. Instead of planning in 2015 to plant in 2015. Evaluate the farm’s forage needs. Consider how the forage will be used (grazing vs. hay), what species are better adapted to your area (season, soil type, rainfall) and what resources (equipment, money, and time) are available. Reestablishment should be considered when less than 40% of the desirable species exist. For exclusive hay production: Take visual appraisal… Read More →

Renovation

A tractor pulling a disc

During the dormant season we often get anxious for warm weather and green pastures so we start thinking about renovation. Renovation is a practice or series of management practices which “restores the vigor” or “makes new again.” In pasture management, renovation refers to improvement of a permanent pasture by changed management. Renovation of bermudagrass pastures may be as simple as soil testing and applying proper fertilization; or, it may be as complex and intensive as destroying the existing sod, preparing a seedbed and sprigging again.   Some renovation… 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 →