It turns out there is a lot to love about mulch. Aside from clearly defining a beautiful and functional yard, mulching can help conserve and nourish surrounding soil, preserve moisture, and protect plants and trees from mower, trimmer, and insect damage.
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 […]
As if we needed another reason for an extra scoop of ice cream this summer, June marks National Dairy Month. Originally created as National Milk Month in 1937 as a way for chain stores to match peak milk production by increasing demand, June has become the time of year to celebrate dairy and the dairy […]
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 […]
Last month we talked about insecticide granules, systemic insecticides, and pest control sprays as ways to reclaim your home and lawn this summer from bugs that bother. Judging by the blog traffic, it’s a pretty hot topic; pests are, indeed, aptly named.
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 […]
A thoughtful summer garden cooks up all kinds of delicious possibilities—and some without cooking at all. Keep reading for tips on how to grow delicious garden salads all summer long.
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 […]
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 […]
Snout Nosed Beatles. Emerald Ash Borers. Lacy Bugs. No matter how elaborate the names, the fact of the matter remains: bugs are bugs. And they can wreak havoc on your home, your landscaping, and your sanity.
Weeds have a horrible reputation around these parts. Johnson grass, water hemp, pigweed, and so many others creep into fields, destroying yields, clogging harvesters, and sending pollen counts soaring. Modern herbicides and herbicide-resistant crops have changed how we combat weeds.
For every farm kid who leaves for college or other life adventure, you’ll have a parent, grandparent, or uncle that imparts a piece of advice or two. Mine had a recurrent theme. “Remember your roots,” they said. As if the seed stickers on the back of my truck weren’t a strong enough reminder.
Ready to get a jump on weed and pest control? Keep these five things in order to spray safely.
We often tout the foraging benefits of UF-Riata, a purebred diploid bahiagrass that is giving bermuda a run for its money. While it is true that UF-Riata is most commonly sown as a pasture grass, its deep root structure makes it ideal for another purpose: erosion control.
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 dealing with the weather to best practices for mesquite […]
In “Weather to Make Your Production Decisions,” we’ll discuss how the weather has a direct impact on your success, and offer our thoughts on how you can minimize its negative impact.
Overseeding your pasture with winter ryegrass is a cost- and time-effective way to ensure that your animals are supplied with nourishment in the early spring.
Most plant species used in wildlife plantings are forage crops. Not everyone who owns property is interested in enhancing wildlife, but the extent to which food plots have been planted for wildlife has increased dramatically during the past 20 years. What is the objective that wildlife enthusiasts have in mind by making such plantings? Not […]
Livestock producers looking to add to their fall and winter grazing options should consider forage oats. This versatile forage crop provides numerous benefits to pastures that last far beyond the fall and winter grazing seasons. “Forage oats can be grown as a grain or forage,” says Ragan & Massey’s Mike Massey. “If producers are looking […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 talk about pests, both of the green and other varieties. Control […]
In most situations, the most cost-efficient way to feed grazing animals is to provide them with access to pastures throughout as much of the year as possible. More than 60 forage species can be grown in the eastern portion of the U.S., and deciding which to plant in various areas on a farm is an […]
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 […]
With spring firmly entrenched, the outside temperatures are rapidly rising. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your soil is quite done hibernating. To ensure the success of anything you plant, we recommend getting out in the dirt and taking its temperature. It’s easier than you think! Get your hands dirty Optimum soil temperatures are a […]
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 […]
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 […]
Weeds are nuisances on any property, but when left unmanaged around the farm, they can quickly begin hindering the efficiency of the operation. To combat weeds quickly and efficiently and can get back to work, it’s important to know what you’re dealing with so you can choose products or removal methods that consistently deliver results.
Whether the farm’s equipment and vehicles have been in storage waiting out the off-season or are just in need of a checkup, there are plenty of tasks that can be done now to make sure there are no hiccups when springtime is in full bloom. Here are a few typical equipment maintenance tasks to make sure the busy spring season goes off without a hitch.
After months of suboptimal weather, most property owners are itching to get outside and start landscaping the property and preparing for spring work. Efficiency is key for the hobby farmer, and knowing what can be done now to make later easier will make a world of difference. Read on for tips on preparing property for spring.