Limestone: Who, What, When, Why & How

Who Needs Limestone: Many Texas soils are acid soils; that is, the soil pH is less than 7.0. Soil acidity is caused by various environmental, climatic, and cultural factors. The most common of these factors are: Parent material from which the soil is derived. Leaching by rainfall or irrigation that removes basic elements such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium from the soil profile leaving acidic hydrogen, aluminum, and manganese. Cultural practices such as nitrogen fertilization, removal of harvested crops and associated basic elements, and soil erosion, which results… Read More →

Sprayer Maintenance

Sprayer Calibration

Tuning up your sprayer can better prepare you for accurate and effective herbicide applications. Any sprayer, old or new will perform better if you check it over before heading into the field. The most common causes of inconsistent spray patterns are nozzle tips with different fan angles on the boom, uneven boom heights and clogged nozzles. Follow manufacturer recommendations to select nozzles for the best coverage. Make sure nozzles are clear of debris and residue. If a spray tip does clog, only use a soft bristled brush or… Read More →

Hay Meadow’s Friend or Foe?

Annual Ryegrass…a cool season annual forage often utilized by livestock producers for winter grazing. However, it’s often deemed an enemy of many a hay producer in East Texas. Volunteer annual ryegrass can be common in hay meadows. Winter rainfalls can promote seed germination and seeds can survive for multiple years in our soils. Later maturity of annual ryegrass can delay or prevent our warm season perennial forages (i.e. bermudagrass or bahiagrass) from breaking dormancy in April/May therefore delaying our initial hay cutting.   So how do we manage… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Crabgrass

Crabgrass is a warm-season annual grass that is commonly found in pastures and hay meadows in parts of Texas. Relative to other warm-season annual grasses, crabgrass has a low- to medium-yield potential but is high in forage quality. As such, it is often a desirable component in pastures and is sometimes planted for forage in pastures. As is the case with many annual grass species, crabgrass is a prolific seed producer which enables new stands to establish in subsequent growing seasons for summer grazing. Due to its high-volume… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Dallisgrass

Dallisgrass is a warm-season perennial that has grazing potential. Dallisgrass is palatable and has a higher level of nutritive value than bahiagrass and some bermudagrass varieties, and it can retain its nutritive value later into the summer. Dallisgrass, however, produces a lower dry matter yield than some bermudagrass varieties. One concern with dallisgrass is the potential for an “ergot” fungus (Claviceps spp.) to infect seedheads and cause dallisgrass poisoning (also known as dallisgrass staggers). The fungus infects the seedheads typically in late summer or fall. The affected animals… Read More →

Survey for Farmers and Ranchers on Biosolid Fertilizer

Ty Bowman, a graduate student at Texas State, has developed a survey for Texas farmers and ranchers to assess producer views on using biosolid products for fertility. He is conducting a trial titled “Evaluating the feasibility and acceptance of using pelleted biosolids as an alternative fertilizer for Bahia grass”. Literature on the acceptance of biosolids as fertilizer, especially for small and mid-sized agricultural producers, is lacking. The findings from this survey will help assess the viability of biosolids as an alternative fertilizer. They will help to identify any… Read More →

It’s Time to Get a Soil Sample Analyzed

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 do regarding how efficiently we use fertilizer.  The soil test is the first step in efficient fertilizer use and improved forage production.  Samples should be collected annually for hay meadows and every 2 to 3 years for grazing pastures.  For soil forms and bags contact your… Read More →

The Texas Climate Smart Initiative Needs You!

What is TCSI? The Texas Climate Smart Initiative (TCSI) is a 3-4 year program that allows producers to engage in climate-smart practices to improve the efficiency of their agricultural production systems. We are looking for farmers, ranchers, and small forest owners in Texas to participate in this project. Whether it’s trees, row crops, grazing land, hay pasture, etc., you could benefit from joining this program and we would love to have you! What are the benefits? There are many great benefits to joining the TCSI. First, if you… Read More →

East Texas Pasture Management Program

Friday, April 5, 2024 VIRTUAL PROGRAM Hosted by Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson and Dr. Jason Banta Pest Control in the Pasture Pesticide Modes of Action External Parasite Control Drift Management and Drone Use in Agriculture Weed Control in Pastures and Hay Meadows   Program starts 8:30 am Adjourn 3:00 pm 5 Pesticide CEUs Available  Meeting will be conducted with ZOOM   Registration Deadline: Thursday April 4 at 11:00 am Register online at: For more information on this program please contact Michelle Sensing @ 903-847-0611        … Read More →

Spring is Here?

With the First Day of Spring coming up 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 do regarding… Read More →