It’s been a long, cold winter, and we’re dreaming of spring in the most delicious ways. Whether you are prepping your spring garden or counting down until the opening day of your farmer’s market, if you’re like us here at Ragan & Massey, you’ll want to enjoy spring’s bounty throughout the entire season. Freezing or […]
Winter annual forages such as the small grains (rye, wheat, and oats), annual ryegrass, and several Brassica species (including turnips, rape, and kale) benefit many livestock farms. These species are widely adapted, easy to grow, and produce highly nutritious forage. In addition, they make most of their growth during the cooler months of the year […]
If it’s getting harder and harder to make time to fish, remember that it’s not only good for your health, it’s good for your mind, your family, and the environment. For reel. At Ragan & Massey, we’re always looking for another reason to head outdoors, and you certainly don’t have to twist our arms when […]
If you are on a quest for the perfect yard, the prettiest patio, or the cleanest fenceline, chances are you’ll need a variety of weed killers to make sure it’s done right. Here we break down common herbicides and help you find the best weed killer for the job.
This is the year your lawn will be the envy of the neighborhood. All it takes is a little research, a little elbow grease, and a little restraint. Keep reading to learn our secret to lush, green grass.
Pests of every variety–rodents, flying insects, and all manner of creepy crawlies–invade our patios, gardens, ball games, and campsites. The warm temperatures come hand in hand with waves of renewed life, and not all of that life welcome.
Duck hunters, too, are under a pressure of their own. The number of days left in duck season are numbered–and so are the chances of bagging a bird or two. That said, it’s not over until the proverbial woman of generous proportions has warbled her last notes–and it would appear that roasted duck is a […]
Flooding of pastures or hayfields occurs with regularity in some or many areas in most years, especially in fields located near creeks or rivers. Obviously, there are limits to the amount of flooding a forage stand can tolerate. Therefore, it is common for questions regarding this topic to arise. In particular, this often occurs when […]
With some honest assessment, anyone can follow these steps to success. Here’s a SMART example of a hunter trying to boost the quail population on his small farm and getting marvelous results. Follow the acronym to see how it worked.
Livestock producers spend a lot of time taking care of their animals, but the idea of giving the animals a job to do usually doesn’t come to mind. I am referring to the “trampling” or “walk in” approach to establishing clover. I first observed this technique during a trip to New Zealand in 1988, in […]
The bright, crisp days of autumn are drawing the holidays closer with each falling leaf and drop in temperature. Across the country, hunters join farmers in harvesting the bounty of the land, sharing local, sustainable game with friends and family at the table. While game meats can be tricky to make appealing to more discerning […]
Despite many meteorologists and farmers already predicting some seriously cold arctic blasts this winter, many livestock owners will likely find themselves frantically rushing around trying to save the herd when the mercury falls too far, too fast.
More and more people are discovering the joys of having a real evergreen in their home during the Christmas holidays.
Forage programs vary greatly, even on adjacent farms. Reasons include that soils and other resources vary, the objectives and inclinations of producers may not be the same, and the species, classes, and breeds of livestock differ from one farm to another. However, despite diversity regarding the details, forage producers who have the most profitable forage […]
It’s easy to get caught off-guard by frost, especially when temperatures fluctuate widely in the fall. When you prepare your garden for frost, it ensures you can make the most of your garden, grab any last harvest, and avoid any damage before winter rolls in.
We’re sure you’ve heard and read about other seed companies touting their seeds as “pre-inoculated” or “coated.” Inoculants, strains of naturally-occurring soil bacterial that improve nitrogen availability to a plant as it grows, can be beneficial; however, more and more of these “coatings” advertised by seed companies are really just corn starch or talc with […]
It is shiny reddish brown, less than a quarter inch long, and it has six legs. You may not know fire ants when you see one, but you certainly will once it bites you.
Interest in growing clovers as companion species to forage grasses has increased in recent years. Reasons include that in many situations they can extend the growing season and/or increase total forage yield of pastures.
It’s the time of year when we start fielding a lot of questions surrounding the best ways to establish and maintain a food plot. Most of our customers are surprised at how easy it can be to prep, plant, fertilize, and grow.
During a recent review of forage crop planting recommendations, it occurred to me that such guidelines have a lot in common with driving directions. If we decide to take a trip to a place we have never (or rarely) been before and don’t have a map or GPS unit, we will need some help.
Any successful Southern cattleman knows that their real business isn’t cattle; it’s growing grass and then converting that grass into beef. Knowing that better forages make better profits for beef producers, all of us at Ragan and Massey go to great lengths to bring the best forage seeds to fields and pastures. In addition to this, it’s also important to know and understand […]
Whether you are entrenched in the agricultural industry or simply like its ability to put food on your table, droughts can have a significant impact on your everyday life.
One of the best rewards in the fall is being able to trade early mornings in the tractor for early mornings in the treestand. We know we’re not alone as we gladly switch our work jeans for camo and blaze orange; harvest-turned-hunting season is one of our favorite times of the year.
RM43 is a powerful weed killer used in a variety of applications, whether you are preserving your driveway, your barns, your fence rows, or your tennis courts. There’s a lot to know about this popular product, so we’ve gathered some of the most common questions—and answers—here for your reference.
Whether treating for specific plants or specific areas with RM43, uniform application of herbicide is essential for effective weed control. Varying the rate of application or dilution ratios even slightly can result in either a poor result or unnecessary waste of product—and both are a misuse of time, money, and effort.
In some situations, striving for uniformity is highly desirable, but development of a forge program for a livestock farm generally doesn’t fall into this category. In fact, planting and growing a diverse crops on such a farm, and in many cases in the same field, offers some distinct advantages to your forage.
Every year a few hay producers have part or even all of their hay destroyed by fire. There is no way to totally eliminate the possibility of a hay fire, but several precautions can be taken that are helpful in reducing the likelihood of such an event.
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 […]