Ode To The American Farmer

An Ode To The Modern American Farmer

I remember being six years old, riding alongside my grandfather in the old red tractor, watching my father and uncle behind me pulling bales of hay from the bailer to the hay rack. It was a sweaty job even without the summer heat, which was there in force, and yet there they were, whistling and […]

5 Basic Gardening Tools Everyone Should Have

5 Basic Gardening Tools Everyone Should Have

Every gardener will tell you that, when it comes to growing and maintaining your yard and garden, the gardening tools you use are just as important as the seeds, shrubs, and trees you plant. While you could fill your garage or shed with a variety of implements, these five basic garden tools help everyone’s thumbs […]

Broiler Litter

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Fertilizing Forages With Broiler Litter

Poultry and beef are in competition in the grocery store, but on individual farms they are often quite compatible enterprises.  One reason for this pertains to the litter generated in broiler production houses.  Broiler litter (normally a combination of sawdust, wood shavings, or peanut hulls, plus poultry manure, feathers, and wasted feed), builds upon the […]

UF-Riata Springs Forward

UF-Riata Springs Forward

There’s something about a Sunday drive that seems to be genetically programmed into farmers. We take the long way home from church, from family breakfasts, or from a ball game just to see how our piece of the world is doing. My grandfather did it. My father did it. And now I find myself doing […]

A Factor That Limits Legumes

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: A Factor That Limits Legumes

Most livestock producers understand the desirability of having forage legumes such as clovers and vetches present in pastures. As compared to grasses and non-leguminous forbs, biological nitrogen fixation and improved forage quality provided by legumes are major attributes. In addition, in some cases legumes can extend the growing season and increase forage yield. These are […]

A Job Well Done - Steps for Southern Pasture

“A Job Well Done,” by Ragan & Massey: Five Steps for Southern Pasture

Welcome to the newest installment of A Job Well Done, by Ragan & Massey. This series of deep-dive advice articles, personally written by Ragan & Massey experts, will address everything you need to know to get better production out of your property. Topics will range from steps for Southern pasture establishment to best practices for mesquite […]

Holdover Seed

Foraging Ahead with Dr. Don Ball: Holdover seed

Each year, many cattlemen and other livestock producers purchase cool-season forage seed they intend to use in autumn plantings. For various reasons, some of this seed doesn’t get planted (the most common reason being dry weather at planting time, which happens fairly regularly in autumn in the Southeast). So when you have holdover seed, what […]

Foraging Ahead: Nutrients in Forage

Foraging Ahead with Dr. Don Ball: Getting the most out of forage nutrients

In recent years, increases in the cost of fertilizer nutrients have caused cattlemen and other livestock producers to create and discover economical ways to provide nutrients for production of forage. Since it appears that fertilizer costs are not likely to decrease significantly in the foreseeable future, these methods are more important than ever when it […]

Irrigation and rotation tips by Ragan & Massey

Irrigation and rotation are keys to favorable forage

A healthy, vigorous pasture can improve livestock gains and reduce feed costs. But growing pasture in the South and Southeast brings special challenges because growers must consider forage grass varieties, soil type, soil pH, fertility, weed and pest control, and water availability. Today, we’ll discuss the importance and specifics of irrigation and rotation.  Should I […]

PlotSpike makes food plots thrive

An adult deer can eat more than six pounds of food every day. So if your food plot isn’t producing, your coveted animals will go elsewhere. But planting a food plot isn’t always simple, and many who want to attract deer and other critters are hunters as opposed to farmers. Long story short, it’s important […]

Planting Food Plots for Wildlife

Foraging Ahead with Dr. Don Ball: Planting food plots for wildlife

Wildlife management has evolved greatly in recent years. Twenty-five years ago, the amount of acreage of wildlife food plots planted in the Southeast was much smaller than it is today. When such plantings were made, they usually consisted of cool-season annuals (often a small grain and/or annual ryegrass). These species are easy to establish and […]

Feeding seed to livestock

Foraging Ahead with Dr. Don Ball: The realities of feeding seed

Most cattlemen know that livestock can spread seeds by eating them, then depositing them in feces wherever they wander. This can be a problem! Cattle often place unwanted bahiagrass in Bermudagrass hayfields, introduce toxic endophyte-infected fescue into nontoxic fescue, and spread seed of many types of weeds into pastures of various types. However, livestock sometimes […]

Drag Harrows: Big uses on small properties

Foraging Ahead with Dr. Don Ball: Drag harrows aren’t a drag for the livestock farmer

Drag harrows (often referred to as chain harrows, spike harrows or spring-toothed harrows) were once widely used in connection with the planting of many different crops. Today, they are rarely used in connection with growing row crops or horticultural crops, but still have a place on many livestock farms. On small farms, drag harrows are […]

Productive Pastures: The dangers of drought

Foraging Ahead with Dr. Don Ball: Dry pasture can lead to poisoned livestock

Drought is an annual problem on many livestock farms, typically occurring in summer or early autumn. Obviously, when drought occurs, pasture forage growth slows or stops and livestock may not have enough to eat. This can lead to significant problems as the animals seek alternatives. Numerous plant species are poisonous or can become poisonous under […]

Ragan & Massey: Good Soil Means Great Grass

Determining soil fertility is the first step to a productive pasture

A healthy, vigorous pasture can improve livestock gains and reduce feed costs. But growing pasture in the South and Southeast brings special challenges because growers must consider forage grass varieties, soil type, soil pH, fertility, weed control and water availability. Today, we’ll talk about determining soil fertility and what to do with your findings. To […]

Legumes for productive pastures, by Ragan & Massey

Foraging Ahead with Dr. Don Ball: Consider Legumes For Better Pasture Production

Forage legumes have long been recognized as being beneficial in pastures and hayfields, but in recent years there has justifiably been heightened interest in them. Here are just a few reasons to consider growing these special plants. Nitrogen Fixation When associated with the proper type of bacteria, most legumes can obtain nitrogen from the air […]