Author Archives: vanessa.corriher

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 →

Weed of the Week: Johnsongrass

Weed of the Week: Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense): Johnsongrass is a warm season perennial grass that is one of the most common and troublesome weeds in agriculture. It is commonly found on roadsides, pastures and hay fields. It grows erect from 3 to 6 feet. Johnsongrass spreads by seeds and rhizomes (underground stems). The seedhead is a large, open panicle often with a purplish tint. Johnsongrass leaves have a large white midrib and a smooth, glossy appearance. Stems are smooth with no hairs.   Select Herbicide Options: Outrider (for… Read More →

Dealing with High Fertilizer Costs in Forages

Fertilizer is and has always been a significant production expense whether you are growing corn, cotton, or pasture forage. Fertilizer costs have increased tremendously over the last few decades. Commercial fertilizers are the most costly input in warm season grass forage production. Below are some important issues relative to fertilizer efficiency as well as alternatives for reducing fertilizer use and reducing production costs for forage production. Soil Test: Adequate soil fertility is one key to successful forage and livestock production in Texas. Soil testing is still the best… 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 →

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 →

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 →

Sprayer Maintenance

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 →

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 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 to pastures… Read More →

Spring is Here?

With the First Day of Spring 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 how efficiently… Read More →