Toxic Plants, Nitrate Toxicity and Prussic Acid Poisoning

This season has been or has become a drought year for many of us in Texas. With drought conditions come fears in regards to toxic plants, nitrate toxicity and prussic acid poisoning. TOXIC PLANTS There are numerous plants in Texas that can be toxic to livestock (cattle, horses, goats, etc.). Toxic Plants of Texas  is a great website with a list of toxic plants along with images, livestock affected and livestock signs. Always make sure your livestock have sufficient forage/feed that will meet their nutritional needs. NITRATE TOXICITY When livestock consume… Read More →

Winter Pasture Program August 14th

Winter Pastures for Central and East Texas   Friday, August 14, 2015 Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center 1710 N Hwy 3053, Overton, TX 75684   Reduce hay needs and winter-feeding expenses by using winter pastures. Topics Include: Cool-season forages and variety selection Monthly and seasonal forage production potential USDA web soil survey demonstration Establishment and fertilization Grazing and utilization strategies Impact of cool-season annuals on warm-season perennials Appropriate mineral supplementation Estimated costs   Register online at: http://agriliferegister.tamu.edu or call Extension Conference Services @ 979-845-2604   Register before… Read More →

Bermudagrass Decline

Bermudagrass decline is characterized by gradual thinning or outright loss of bermudagrass stands over time. Below are some of the reasons associated with bermudagrass decline: 1. Fertility: The lack of an appropriate fertility program may be the number one cause of bermudagrass decline. Nitrogen (N) is important for forage production, however, it is often the only nutrient applied. Phosphorus (P) and Potassium (K) are critical for forage production and persistence. Potassium (K) has been shown to be an important nutrient for forage, stolon and rhizome production. It is… Read More →

Rain, Rain Everywhere!

For the first time in a while, not a single county in Texas is in Extreme or Exceptional Drought conditions (according to the latest US Drought Monitor). All of this extra rainfall has been appreciated but has also been cursed by many crop and hay producers. So what does all this rainfall mean for our forages? Weeds have matured and multiplied due to inability to spray at appropriate times. Once fields are accessible and there is a window of opportunity be prepared to control weeds whether mechanically or… Read More →

The Sugarcane Aphid: A New Pest of Grain and Forage Sorghum (New Publication)

Entomologist from Texas A&M AgriLife Extension have just released a publication on the Sugarcane Aphid (SCA). This publication summarizes the latest information on biology, scouting, economic thresholds and insecticides for SCA control in grain and forage sorghum. We are still learning more about this new pest and this publication will be updated as new research becomes available. Website: Texas Sugarcane Aphid News Publication: SCA Management Guide        

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 →

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.”        

Weed of the Week: Spiny Sow Thistle (Annual)

Many growers make no distinction at all between perennial and annual sow thistles. That’s because all three versions are tall weeds with yellow, dandelion-like flowers and stems that produce a milky sap. Seedlings of the two species(Sonchus asper & Sonchus oleraceus) are practically indistinguishable, and may be difficult to tell apart even at spray stage without examining the root system. Annual and perennial sow thistle will be covered in an upcoming post. Spiny Sow Thistle (Sonchus asper): An annual that has bluish-green leaves and stems that emit a… Read More →

Does a New Year Mean a New Pasture/Hay Meadow?

It’s always best to initiate the planning process the year prior to actual planting. So start planning in 2015 to plant in 2016. Instead of planning in 2015 to plant in 2015. Evaluate the farm’s forage needs. Consider how the forage will be used (grazing vs. hay), what species are better adapted to your area (season, soil type, rainfall) and what resources (equipment, money, and time) are available. Reestablishment should be considered when less than 40% of the desirable species exist. For exclusive hay production: Take visual appraisal… Read More →

Pasture Management – Just the Facts

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants combine solar energy, atmospheric CO2, and water, within green leaf tissue (chlorophyll) to produce carbohydrates. Plants use these carbohydrates as a source of energy to carry on basic metabolic processes. In short, while overly simplistic, plants can create their own food using the simple ingredients of sunlight, water, and CO2. Plants do require, however, adequate green leaf (photosynthetic tissue) in order to carry out photosynthesis. Without these four main ingredients plants cannot survive.  As managers there is not a lot we… Read More →