Fall-Planted Forage Mixtures for White-Tailed Deer in Texas

The options for fall-planted wildlife mixtures are many but often the random mixtures offered for sale by national retailers are not the best-adapted plants for Texas.  Warm season forage legumes, cool season forage legumes and forage oats are all great choices to include in forage mixtures for white-tailed deer in Texas.  One problem with planting mixtures of these three forages is determining the correct planting rate for each forage species so that competition is minimized and each species can be productive.   Planting rate experiments with cowpeas, oats… Read More →

Sugarcane Aphids: A Threat to Forage Sorghums, Sorghum-Sudangrass and Sudangrass

Sugarcane aphids feed on and damage all species of Sorghum grown for grain, forage and hay.  Aphids feed on plant sap and infested leaves turn yellow and then brown and die, reducing forage yield. Sugarcane aphids also produce large amounts of honeydew, a sticky waste product that accumulates on leaves.  A black sooty mold sometimes grows on the honeydew, turning leaves black.  The honeydew on leaves and stems can gum up harvest machinery.   The following practices can reduce the risk of sugarcane aphid damage: Plant hybrids with… Read More →

Stockpiling Bermudagrass or Bahiagrass

A different winter feeding approach, other than hay, could be the use of standing or stockpiled warm season perennials (such as bermudagrass or bahiagrass). These forages are allowed to accumulate in the field for grazing during fall and early winter. Stockpiled bermudagrass can provide the required nutrition for dry, pregnant cows through January if the appropriate procedure is followed. Producers should plan on providing approximately 45 to 60 days of grazing with the dormant bermudagrass. In most instances, stockpiled bermudagrass should be used up by January. Once the… Read More →

Herbicide Applications During Dry, Hot Months

Invasive brush can decrease forage productivity for livestock or decrease brush diversity valuable for wildlife habitat.  Most ranchers find themselves constantly considering options for brush management, weighing not only the cost and effectiveness, but also when they can find the time to complete the treatments.   As temperatures continue to climb across the state and the chances of rainfall seem to be weakening, it’s important to consider the effect this will have on any herbicide applications. Treating weeds or brush with a leaf spray application when temperatures are as… Read More →

Bermudagrass Decline

Bermudagrass decline is characterized by gradual thinning or outright loss of bermudagrass stands over time. Below are some of the reasons associated with bermudagrass decline: 1. Fertility: The lack of an appropriate fertility program may be the number one cause of bermudagrass decline. Nitrogen (N) is important for forage production, however, it is often the only nutrient applied. Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) are critical for forage production and persistence. Potassium (K) has been shown to be an important nutrient for forage, stolon and rhizome production. It is… Read More →

Reduce Winter Feeding Program August 16th

Reduce Winter Feeding with Stockpiled Forage and Winter Pasture   Thursday, August 16 2019 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center 1710 N Hwy 3053, Overton, TX 75684   Would you prefer to feed hay for 60 days? 100 days? or 150 days? Here’s an opportunity to learn how to significantly reduce your hay feeding needs.   Topics Include: Stockpiled forage: management and utilization How many acres do you need of stockpiled forage and winter pasture? Cool-season forages and variety selection Establishment and fertilization Grazing and utilization strategies… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Bahiagrass

Weed of the Week: Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum) Bahiagrass is a warm season perennial that grows in Texas. Bahiagrass spreads by J-shaped purplish rhizomes and seed. The seed head consists of two or three spikes. Bahiagrass can be very aggressive and take over quickly especially in areas where competition is weak. Bahiagrass is very tolerant of low fertility and soil acidity.   Bahiagrass can be utilized for grazing. Some of it’s attractions for producers include its excellent adaptation, ease of management, persistence under low fertilization and close grazing. Bahiagrass… Read More →

Bermudagrass Stem Maggots, Fall Armyworms, and Grasshoppers. Oh my!

The bermudagrass stem maggot (Atherigona reversura), a pest of bermudagrass forage in Texas has been reported annually since 2012. 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” – 3/16” long) moves to the last plant node and consumes the plant material within the stem. This stem damage results in the death of the top two to three leaves while the rest of the plant remains green. This… Read More →

Nitrogen Sources

Nitrogen is an essential plant nutrient. Plants readily take up and use two forms of soil nitrogen, ammonium (NH4+) and nitrate (NO3-). Other forms of nitrogen must be converted to one of these compounds before plants can utilize them directly for plant growth. Sources of Nitrogen: Plants such as legumes “make their own” nitrogen. A symbiotic (positive for both parties) relationship between a legume and rhizobium bacteria develops and the bacteria “fix” nitrogen out of the atmosphere and convert the nitrogen gas into forms that can be used… Read More →

Upcoming Events

Don’t forget to check out the “Events” tab for upcoming events in Central and East Texas! Events occurring through out the year will be posted under the “Events” tab. Upcoming Events:   Owning Your Own Piece of Texas: Top Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know Workshops are held 9 am – 3 pm Crockett – June 28 Cat Spring – August 26 College Station – September 12 Register           Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short Course August 5-7, 2019 College Station, TX https://beefcattleshortcourse.com/ Registration  … Read More →