Fertilizing Forages With 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 […]

Compare-N-Save weed killer by Ragan & Massey

A weed treatment for every situation

Every rural property has its own specific needs when it comes to weed management. The weed treatment used by a gardening enthusiast might not work for a larger cow/calf operation or a property with row crops. It is safe to say that most properties need some sort of fence weed control, weed killer for lawns […]

Extension Agent Tips by Ragan & Massey

Extend your knowledge with your local extension agent

County and regional extension agents are valuable sources of intel for every rural property owner, whether he or she is a veteran farmer, a newbie trying to start a vegetable garden, or a property owner in need of lawn-care advice. According to the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, extension agents provide “non-formal education […]

Johnsongrass

$5 million Johnsongrass study underway

Johnsongrass, AKA Sorghum halepense, is a problem for property managers all over the world. And we mean “all over the world” in the most literal sense, because this invasive perennial grass is present on every continent but Antarctica. It’s resistant to most herbicides, shows strong cold and drought tolerance and can flourish in low-fertility soils. […]

Healthy pastures with Ragan & Massey

Smart pasture management makes healthy, happy horses

Anyone with grazing animals understands that pasture management is important. But did you know that practicing smart grazing techniques can dramatically improve a horse’s health? According to The Horse, a quality pasture and optimal grazing standards can make all the difference in a horse’s health, especially if it is suffering from a metabolic disorder or […]

Pollinators are the bee's knees.

Pollinators are the bee’s knees for global crop production

Did you know that you could help increase the world’s crop production just by planting some daisies, marigolds or other wildflowers around your property? It’s true. Wildflowers attract honeybees, which are nature’s most important pollinators. Any crop grower should be happy to see honeybees and other pollinators buzzing around the acreage, but until now, we’ve […]

Control woody plants and broadleaf weeds with BRUSHTOX™

Controlling invasive woody plants and broadleaf weeds can be a time-consuming job for landowners, no matter how large the property they manage. Luckily, Ragan & Massey now offers BRUSHTOX™ so hardworking landowners can spend less time on weed management and more time doing what they love.  This highly effective herbicide controls more than 60 woody […]