Liquid Lime

Lime is often recommended for pastures and hay meadows in order to increase soil pH. Many forages can be sensitive to soil pH, especially acidic soils (soil pH < 7). Maintaining an appropriate soil pH can increase nutrient use efficiency, meaning plant roots have the capability to pull nutrients from the soil and use them for plant growth and persistence. For more details on soil pH and lime see previous ForageFax post: Limestone: Who, What, When, Why & How Liquid lime is a formulation of approximately 50% high… Read More →

What is Coastal, Tifton 85 and Jiggs?

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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: Yellow False Indigo

Yellow False Indigo (Baptisia sphaerocarpa) have a very wide, natural range to which they seem well adapted. It is native to the lower Midwest and Gulf states. As a group, these perennials are deer resistant, heat and humidity tolerant and drought tolerant. Height and width vary by species. It grow up to 2 to 3 feet tall by 2 to 4 feet wide with upright stems. Flower spikes are 12 to 15 inches long with large, bright yellow flowers held above bright green foliage. Most indigo species bloom… 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 →

Ranchers Leasing Workshop-Nacogdoches, TX

Ranchers Leasing Workshop $50 per person or $80 per couple April 9, 2019 9 am – 1 pm Nacogdoches Expo Center 3805 NW Stallings Drive Nacogdoches, TX 75964 FLYER     Focused specifically on grazing, hunting and livestock leases. Half day seminar, participants will be able to ask questions, interact with attorneys and economists. All participants receive their own copy of The Rancher’s Agricultural Leasing Handbook, which contains checklists and sample lease language.   Registration Required:     Vanessa Corriher-Olson Forage Extension Specialist Soil & Crop Sciences,… 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 →

2018 Forage Sorghum Silage Trial at Bushland

by Dr. Jourdan Bell, Dr. Ed Bynum, Dr. Ronnie Schnell, Carla Naylor, Preston Sirmon, Dr. Kevin Heflin and Katrina Horn   The 2018 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Forage Sorghum Silage Trial consisted of 56 entries including forage sorghum, sorghum-sudangrass, sudangrass, and dual-purpose forage/grain sorghum hybrids. Two corn hybrids and two additional grain sorghum hybrids were included as checks. Of the 56 entries, 26 were brown midrib (BMR) forage sorghum and sorghum-sudangrass hybrids, and 13 were brachytic hybrids. The average forage yield was 22.5 tons/acre with yields… Read More →

Warm Season Annual Forages

Believe it or not, we can actually grow some forages other than Bermudagrass and Bahiagrass in Texas! Warm season perennial grasses, such as bermudagrass and bahiagrass, make great foundations for pastures in Texas. However, there are additional forages that can be utilized for pasture or hay production in Texas. As always, when selecting forage species make sure to match species and variety to your location (soil type and average rainfall) as well as to your production system goals. For assistance in selecting a forage species and/or variety contact… Read More →


During the dormant season we often get anxious for warm weather and green pastures so we start thinking about renovation. Renovation is a practice or series of management practices which “restores the vigor” or “makes new again.” In pasture management, renovation refers to improvement of a permanent pasture by changed management. Renovation of bermudagrass pastures may be as simple as soil testing and applying proper fertilization; or, it may be as complex and intensive as destroying the existing sod, preparing a seedbed and sprigging again.   Some renovation… Read More →

Basic Principles of Forage Quality

Basic Principles of Forage Quality AgriLife Extension conducts many programs across Texas on different kinds of forages.  We all know forage quality is important.  My observation is that many hay growers and hay feeders don’t test for it.  In fact, at sale I am sure most forage changes hands in Texas with no measurement of forage quality.  But forage quality indeed is a value factor.  Forage is not just about tons of hay per acre. A New Mexico State University colleague, research forage agronomist Leonard Lauriault, Tucumcari, shared… Read More →