Strategies for Drought II

Preparing for the Next Drought If your crystal ball is not working it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a potential drought because another drought will occur, the prediction is when. Some best management practices can prepare us for a potential drought: forage management, grazing management and utilization of warm-season annual forages. Forage management: It is always important, drought or not, to pay attention to plant nutrient requirements. Soil test, apply the needed fertilizer and hope for rain. Ensure soil pH is… Read More →

Strategies For Drought I

Dealing with the Current Drought During a drought, little can be done to increase forage pasture growth. Proper management can minimize impacts of drought on your operation when it does, and it will, occur. Careful management early in a drought can minimize long term stand damage and help maintain forage yields when rains do come. If pastures are managed properly during times of low moisture, the effects of drought will be less severe and pastures will rebound faster when precipitation is sufficient. Remember, management practices that minimize damage… 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 →

Reduce Winter Feeding with Stockpiled Forage and Winter Pasture in Overton August 24, 2018

Reduce Winter Feeding with Stockpiled Forage and Winter Pasture   Friday, August 24, 2018 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center 1710 N Hwy 3053, Overton, TX 75684   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 Monthly and seasonal forage production potential Appropriate mineral supplementation Estimated costs   Register online at: or call Extension Conference… Read More →


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 →

Herbicide Applications During Dry, Hot Months

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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 →

Weed of the Week: Hemp Dogbane

WEED OF THE WEEK: Hemp Dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum L.) Hemp dogbane is an erect, one to three feet tall perennial. It grows from woody horizontal rootstocks. Leaves are smooth, elliptical, narrow and erect. Flowers are small with five greenish-white petals. Leaves and stems have a milky sap. Seed pods are long and slender. Hemp dogbane plants produce from 800-12,000 seeds per plant. Each plant usually has 10 to 60 seed pods and each pod contains between 80-200 seeds.Hemp dogbane is very competitive. It can reduce forage yields if not… Read More →

Potassium is for Persistence

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 →

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 →

Bermudagrass Stem Maggot

The bermudagrass stem maggot (Atherigona reversura), a pest of bermudagrass forage in Texas has been reported in multiple counties since 2012. 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” – 3/16” long)… Read More →