Common Winter Weeds in Pastures and Hay Meadows

Buttercup (Ranunculus spp) Spray buttercup in late February or early March before it flowers. This weed is easily controlled with 2,4-D amine, Metsulfuron 60 DF, Cimarron Plus, Grazon P+D, GrazonNext HL and dicamba + 2,4-D (Weedmaster). In dormant bermudagrass/bahiagrass glyphosate (Roundup) will control buttercup at normal use rates.   Groundsel (Senecio spp) Metsulfuron 60DF or Cimarron Plus has proved to be the most effective herbicide for groundsel control. Apply in the rosette stage (~March). Grazon P+D provides partial control.   Red Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)   Grazon P+D provides… Read More →

Merry Christmas!

    Merry Christmas from my family to yours! Wishing everyone a joyous holiday season.       Vanessa Corriher-Olson, Ph.D. Professor, Forage Extension Specialist Soil & Crop Sciences Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Overton,TX vacorriher@ag.tamu.edu 903-834-6191    

Hay Meadow’s Friend or Foe?

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. Volunteer annual ryegrass can be common in hay meadows. Winter rainfalls can promote seed germination and seeds can survive for multiple years in our soils. Later maturity of annual ryegrass can delay or prevent our warm season perennial forages (i.e. bermudagrass or bahiagrass) from breaking dormancy in April/May therefore delaying our initial hay cutting.   So how do we manage… Read More →

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 →

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 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 County Extension Agents have County Facebook pages that can serve as a good source for timely articles and other web-based events that may peak your… 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 →