Author Archives: vanessa.corriher

Legumes Can Provide Nitrogen

Commercial fertilizers are the most costly input for  warm season grass forage production for hay and pastures. With high fertilizer prices there is increased  interest in utilizing legumes to offset the cost of nitrogen. Here are some facts that you need to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to introduce cool season legumes into your forage system: Clovers are cool season legumes with the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen as a result of their symbiotic relationship with Rhizobium Specific Rhizobium inoculant is required for each clover… Read More →

Grasshoppers!

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 →

Weed of the Week: Carolina Horse Nettle

Carolina Horsenettle (Solanum carolinense) A warm season perennial, Carolina horse nettle can grow to 2 feet tall. It has dark green leaves that are sharply lobed with a pointed tip. Carolina horse nettle has large spines on the stems and leaves. Each of its mostly oval leaves has several teeth or shallow lobes on both sides. Horse nettle has clusters of white to purple flowers and they bloom May to October. Horse nettle also produces a fruit that is about 1/2 inch in diameter; it is green with… 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 →

Weed of the Week: Maypop Passionflower

Weed of the Week: Maypop Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata L.) Perennial vine often found in cultivated areas, fields, pastures, roadsides and waste sites. Leaves are palmately shaped with 3 lobes. Flowers are bluish purple and white. Stems can trail along the ground or climb on other vegetation.  Stems are only slightly hairy and may reach 6 1/2 feet in length. Roots initially develop as a taproot but eventually develop a very deep perennial rootstock from which sprouts can emerge. A relatively large (1 1/2 – 3 inches long) berry that is green… Read More →

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 →