Author Archives: vanessa.corriher

Sprayer Calibration

Sprayer Calibration is a critical step for a pesticide applicator in making sure the correct amount of pesticide is applied to the target site. Calibration is the process by which the amount of pesticide being applied per a unit of area is determined. This step is most often skipped because we get in a hurry, we calibrated it once a long time ago (surely nothing has changed) or we forget. By skipping sprayer calibration the applicator may be applying too much pesticide or not enough pesticide. If too little… 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: 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 →

Silver Leaf Nightshade

Silver Leaf Nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium Cav.) is an upright, usually prickly perennial in the nightshade family. It normally grows 1 to 3 feet tall and reproduces by seed and creeping root stalks. Leaves have a silver color (hence the name) with wavy margins and are lance shaped to narrowly oblong. Flowers are violet or bluish (sometimes white) with yellow centers. The fruits are round and yellow and are present from May to October. The plant has poor forage value for livestock and wildlife and can be poisonous to… Read More →

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

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?

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 →