Every year it’s the same thing – you tell yourself, your spouse and your neighbor that you’re going to get your lawn in tip-top condition – but you end up with a subpar showpiece. Drought, weeds and insects can quickly turn a healthy and vibrant lawn into one in need of resuscitation. Here are five […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
Besides a side at the Thanksgiving dinner table, there are many unexpected uses for corn. Açai berries, broccoli rabe, and blueberries may be superfoods according to dietitians and nutritionists, but when it comes to a truly versatile food product that has become a staple in most of our modern lives, all signs point to corn.
Most of the cost of raising livestock is associated with feeding them. Pasture forage is generally the least expensive source of nutrition, which provides an incentive for producers to seek options to extend grazing to the extent possible. Using warm-season and cool-season forages, using annuals to provide grazing when perennials are not productive, and stockpiling […]
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 […]
Annual ryegrass is often planted on the dormant pastures of warm-season forages, especially bahiagrass and bermudagrass. However, other warm-season forage crops including dallisgrass, crabgrass, broadleaf signalgrass, and sericea lespedeza can also be overseeded. The dependability and value of this practice has been thoroughly verified by university research, and thousands of livestock producers have benefitted from […]
Another hunting draws near and with it hot coffee, a ready truck, and the long wait for sunrise. Those of us longtime hunters have learned a lesson or two from the blind and tree stand. Here are seven we thought of this morning.
Harvest season is a grueling time of year for farmers and their families. Here’s how to reap the benefits while giving stress the shaft.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
If you’re like most homeowners, you take a fair bit of pride in your lawn and outdoor areas. And what’s not to love? Long days, beautiful lawns, comfortable chairs, a cozy fire pit—so many ways to enjoy the great outdoors this time of year. Until the mosquitoes move in.
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.
Ready to get a jump on weed and pest control? Keep these five things in order to spray safely.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
What, if anything, can be learned from simple examination of hay?
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 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 […]
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 […]
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 […]