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 →

Weed Control For Newly Sprigged Bermudagrass

Weed Control for Newly Sprigged Bermudagrass… WEED CONTROL FOR NEWLY SPRIGGED BERMUDAGRASS. “One of the many challenges producers face when establishing a new stand of bermudagrass is initial weed pressure. Prior to land preparation for establishment of sprigs, it is important to eradicate any unwanted vegetation.”     Vanessa Corriher-Olson Forage Extension Specialist Soil & Crop Sciences Overton, TX vacorriher@ag.tamu.edu Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Texas A&M University System        

Sprayer Calibration

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 →

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 →

Timing on Weed Control is Critical

Our human nature is to find a simple, one time solution for our problems. Unfortunately, this simple, one time solution does not exist for weed control in pastures and hay meadows. There are several factors that are important when it comes to weed control. These include:   Weed Identification: We cannot make the best management decisions if we don’t even know what the plant is we are trying to eradicate. Identification will determine the timing of our herbicide application along with the herbicide we choose. There are a… Read More →

Native Grasses for Texas

One may be surprised to learn that bermudagrass and bahiagrass are NOT native to Texas much less to the United States. There are numerous species of grasses and forbs that can be utilized for forage throughout the state of Texas. Keep in mind as we select forages we need to be mindful of our production system goals, location (soil type and rainfall), and the nutrient needs of our livestock (and/or wildlife). Many livestock producers are considering forage species and varieties that do not require as much fertilizer as… Read More →

Suns Out, Fertilizer Out?

After a cold, dreary winter we get anxious about our warm season perennial pastures and hay meadows. We start panicking about the winter weeds we see growing, the volunteer ryegrass we see growing and we start making calls to our local fertilizer retailer. Find more information about dealing with volunteer ryegrass here and dealing with winter weeds here. Now, let’s take a moment and talk about the RIGHT time to fertilize our warm season pastures/hay meadows.   First and foremost, soil test. If you have not done so… 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 →

Baleage: What is it and do I need it?

Baleage involves baling forage with 50 to 65 % moisture content, then wrapping the bales in plastic to create an air tight environment. This reduces the weather risk producers commonly face while waiting for the forage to field cure and harvest. Harvesting the forage at higher moisture levels allows for the forage to more readily retain its nutritive value and digestibility compared to conventional hay. Aerobic (free oxygen requiring) bacteria consume the oxygen remaining inside the hay within a few hours. Under these conditions, anaerobic (non-free oxygen requiring) bacteria… Read More →

Weed of the Week: Curly Dock

Curly Dock (Rumex crispus) is a perennial broadleaf plant that usually grows in wet areas and is frequently associated with standing water. Leaves are alternate to one another along the stem forming a rosette. The mature plant stands erect and grows 2 to 5 feet tall. Leaves are alternate to one another along the stem. The small greenish flowers are arranged in dense clusters on elongated stems. The fruiting stem dies back in mid to late summer, and the fruits and stems turn a distinctive rusty brown. New… Read More →