Category Archives: Uncategorized

Stockpiling Bermudagrass or Bahiagrass

A different winter feeding approach, other than hay, could be the use of standing or stockpiled warm season perennials (such as bermudagrass or bahiagrass). These forages are allowed to accumulate in the field for grazing during fall and early winter. Stockpiled bermudagrass can provide the required nutrition for dry, pregnant cows through January if the appropriate procedure is followed. Producers should plan on providing approximately 45 to 60 days of grazing with the dormant bermudagrass. In most instances, stockpiled bermudagrass should be used up by January. Once the… Read More →

Hay Testing…Know What You’re Feeding

One of the first considerations when purchasing hay is that it should be based on individual animal requirements. For optimal production, forage quality should be matched as closely as possible to the nutritional needs of the animal. Low quality forage can result in reduced animal performance and increased supplemental feeding costs. Whereas hay of sufficient quality, little or no supplementation will be necessary to meet the animals’ nutritional needs. Keep in mind that not all forage or hay is created equal. There is great variation between forages and… Read More →

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 →