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 →

Poultry Litter

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Poultry litter has become a common alternative source of plant nutrients in Central and East Texas. Especially as the poultry industry grows in parts of Central and East Texas. Broiler litter is a mixture of poultry manure, bedding, feathers, and spilled feed. The actual nutrient content of a manure sample varies. Nutrient concentration of broiler litter is variable due to age of bird, composition of the diet, how the manure is handled, and the number of batches of birds raised since the last house clean out. The average… Read More →

Blackberries and Dewberries

Blackberry and dewberry are closely related, but they are very different in growth habits and physical characteristics. Dewberry exhibits a low, vine-like, trailing growth habit that forms mats that are rarely taller than 2 feet above the ground. Blackberry typically has an upright rambling growth habit, which can form impenetrable thickets that are often 4 to 6 feet tall. Stems of dewberry have slender thorns and numerous red hairs, while upright blackberry stems have few to no hairs and numerous hard, broad-based thorns. Dewberry also tend to flower about… Read More →

What is Coastal, Tifton 85 and Jiggs?

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Most people think these forages are a species of their own. But they are not. They are hybrid varieties of Bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon). Bermudagrass is a warm-season perennial grass that spreads mainly by rhizomes (underground stems) and stolons (horizontal aboveground stems).  The grass tolerates a wide range of soil types and soil pH values, thus making it adapted to most of the southern US.  ‘Coastal’: A hybrid between ‘Tift’ bermudagrass, a vigorous growing bermudagrass found in an old field near Tifton, Georgia, and an introduction from South Africa. … 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 →

Weed of the Week: Sedges (Yellow Nutsedge, Purple Nutsedge, Globe Flatsedge)

Yellow Nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) is often referred to as nutgrass or watergrass. Yellow nutsedge is a perennial plant that reproduces primarily by small underground tubers (called nutlets) that form at the end of underground stems (rhizomes). A single plant can produce several hundred of these tubers throughout the summer. Yellow nutsedge can also spread by rhizomes. Yellow nutsedge can be identified by the triangular shape of its stem as can all sedges. You can feel the shape by rolling the stem in your fingertips. One method of control… 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 →

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 →

Texas Agriculture Law Blog

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Tiffany Dowell Lashmet is an Assistant Professor and Extension Specialist in Agricultural Law with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension. On her Texas Agriculture Law Blog she recently posted information on Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hauling Regulations. Visit her blog linked below for more information.   Revised Outline for Analyzing FMCSA Hauling Regulations   Vanessa Corriher-Olson Associate Professor, Forage Extension Specialist Soil & Crop Sciences Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Overton,TX vacorriher@ag.tamu.edu 903-834-6191      

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 →