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 →

Timing on Weed Control is Critical

Our human nature is to find a simple, one time solution for our problems. Unfortunately, this simple, one time solution does not exist for weed control in pastures and hay meadows. There are several factors that are important when it comes to weed control. These include:   Weed Identification: We cannot make the best management decisions if we don’t even know what the plant is we are trying to eradicate. Identification will determine the timing of our herbicide application along with the herbicide we choose. There are a… Read More →

Establishing Bermudagrass

As temperatures rise we often start getting an itch to plant. When it comes to establishing bermudagrass from sprigs there are several things to keep in mind before we start tilling the soil… Location: Choose a well drained soil; bermudagrass does not do well on wet-land (except for Jiggs Bermudagrass).   Variety Selection: Match variety to soil type, average rainfall, production goals, and willingness to manage (provide fertility, etc.). Find more information on bermudagrass varieties Bermudagrass Varieties, Hybrids, and Blends for Texas.   Weed Control: Destroy existing vegetation… Read More →

Pasture Management – Just the Facts

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: Grassbur (field sandbur, sandbur, etc.)

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 →

2020 Southeast U.S. Hay Harvest Survey

Extension forage specialist with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and in the southeast U.S. would like your help in gathering information on hay harvest methods and time required for harvesting hay to help develop more effective forage educational programs. We would appreciate you taking the time to complete a survey regarding your hay harvest methods. If you do choose to participate, we appreciate your feedback, and all information will be kept confidential to the extent allowed by applicable state and federal law…. Read More →

East Texas Pasture Management Program

Friday, February 21, 2020 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center 1710 N. Hwy 3053, Overton, TX 75684   Effective weed control with weed identification, proper timing and herbicide selection Control  of  Forage  Insect  Pests Grazing Management to Reduce Herbicide Use Laws and Regulations of Pesticide Use Save money by understanding active ingredients, residual control and herbicide cost   Program starts 1:00 pm Adjourn 6:00 pm 5 Pesticide CEUs Available      Pre-register by Feb. 19, 2020: Cost: $25/ person On-Site Registration Cost: $40/person  Register online at: https://agriliferegister.tamu.edu/Overton;… Read More →

Common Winter Weeds in Pastures and Hay Meadows

Buttercup (Ranunculus spp) Spray buttercup in late February or early March before it flowers. This weed is easily controlled with 2,4-D amine, Metsulfuron 60 DF, Cimarron Plus, Grazon P+D, GrazonNext HL and dicamba + 2,4-D (Weedmaster). In dormant bermudagrass/bahiagrass glyphosate (Roundup) will control buttercup at normal use rates.   Groundsel (Senecio spp) Metsulfuron 60DF or Cimarron Plus has proved to be the most effective herbicide for groundsel control. Apply in the rosette stage (~March). Grazon P+D provides partial control.   Red Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)   Grazon P+D provides… 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 →

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 →