Author Archives: vanessa.corriher

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 →

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 →

Fall Armyworms

When rain comes back to Central & East Texas, fall army worm infestations may develop (or already have) in pastures and hayfields. Below is information on management of fall armyworm in pastures and hay and a list of labeled insecticides (click on “Armyworm Fact Sheet 2019”). As always remember to read the label of all pesticides before use! Armyworm Fact Sheet 2019                       Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson Forage Extension Specialist Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Overton, TX vacorriher@ag.tamu.edu

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 →

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 →

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 →

Rained on Hay

After mowing, poor weather and handling conditions can lower hay quality. Rain can cause leaf loss and can leach nutrients from plants during curing. Rain can leach out nutrients and increase dry matter loss from respiration, which is the process by which a plant uses oxygen. Nutrient losses depend on the amount, duration and timing of the rain in relation to cutting time. Purdue University has conducted research on the amount of total digestible nutrients (TDN) and field dry matter lost from hay after a rain. The study… 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 →

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 →

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 →