Author Archives: vanessa.corriher

Winter Weeds: Do they matter?

As forage producers, we focus most of our energy on our warm season perennial pastures and hay meadows (bermudagrass, bahiagrass, etc.). That means most of our weed control efforts are also focused on warm season weeds (such as carolina horsenettle, blackberry, etc). Unfortunately, cool season weeds can be just as detrimental to our warm season perennial forages.   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. Later maturity… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Thistles

If left uncontrolled, thick thistle stands can reduce grazing and result in less forage production. A single thistle plant can produce at least 4,000 seeds, which increases the chance for higher thistle populations in the pasture the following year. Consequently, management practices need to be conducted prior to flower formation for effective thistle control. Even if thistles have not infested your pasture in the past, it is ideal that your pastures are scouted in late fall through mid-spring (November to March) to ensure that thistles do not get… Read More →

Fertilization of Winter Pasture

Fertilization of winter pasture should be based on a soil test to maximize forage production and prevent applying more fertilizer than is needed. Nitrogen fertilization of small grain and small grain-ryegrass mixtures can be split in 2 to 4 equal applications during the growing season. Two applications are often sufficient in Central Texas with lower rainfall and heavier textured soils. Three or four applications are required on the sandy soils in East Texas because of low nutrient holding capacity and high rainfall. Phosphorus and potassium can be applied… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Broomsedge Bluestem

Broomsedge Bluestem (Andropogon virginicus L.) is a warm season perennial grass found throughout Central and East Texas. Broomsedge growth begins as temperatures consistently stay above 60 degrees F. It produces many seeds that are distributed by wind. It is a poor competitor, has poor nutritive value for livestock and low palatability. Broomsedge can quickly become the dominant species in over-grazed, low pH (< 5.5), low fertility, eroded soils where desired vegetation will not thrive. Since this plant thrives on low pH and low fertility soils, soil testing is… Read More →

Upcoming Web Based Learning Opportunities

Missing those face-to-face meetings? Texas A&M AgriLife Extension is offering web-based opportunities to continue to provide educational information on agriculture, including forage production. Below are some upcoming events you may be interested in… AgriLife Extension Events Calendar Pesticide Applicators Training December 3, 2020 2020 Ag in the Evening Program Series November & December 2020 Ag in the Evening Program Series Dec 8 Ranchers Agricultural Leasing Workshop Texas Range Webinars   Check with your local County Extension Agent for other opportunities. Are you a Facebook user? Many of our… 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 →

Cool Season Annual Forages: To Plant or Not To Plant…Now or Later?

Areas of Texas have received very little rainfall so far this fall. Many of us are questioning whether to plant cool season annual forages (such as ryegrass, small grains or legumes). According to NOAA (http://climate.gov), a majority of Texas will be drier than normal for October 2020- December 2020. It will rain again one day. However, for many of us that hope is not enough as we look at the cost associated with planting.   Ideally we would like to plant to soil moisture. Summer pastures should be… Read More →

Feeding Hay to Reduce Waste

On many farms, hay feeding losses are as high as storage losses. Some hay losses during feeding can be expected with any feeding system, but the amount of loss varies with the system used. The major objective for any feeding system should be to keep loses to a practical minimum level, thus permitting animals to consume the majority of hay offered at feeding. Feeding losses include trampling, leaf shatter, chemical and physical deterioration, fecal contamination, and refusal. Feeding in only one area can cause excessive sod destruction, usually… 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 →

Texas A&M AgriLife Research Cool Season Clover Cultivars

Blackhawk Arrowleaf Clover is a new cultivar that was released by Texas A&M AgriLife Research, Overton, TX in 2013. Blackhawk has multiple disease tolerance compared to Apache and Yuchi cultivars. Blackhawk is slightly earlier in maturity than Apache arrowleaf and is in full bloom around May 10 at Overton, TX. Test soil and follow lime and fertilizer recommendations Soil pH should be 6.0 to 6.5 Plan acreage needed (0.5 to 0.8 acre/cow + calf) Graze or hay warm season grasses to about 2-inch height before planting. Disturb sod… Read More →