EXCLUSION CAGES

FORAGING AHEAD WITH DR. DON BALL: EXCLUSION CAGES

Photo Credit: Marion Barnes. One of the challenges faced by a cattleman or other producer of grazing animals is assessing the productivity of pastures. The reason is that grazing animals “eat the evidence” (i.e. they eat the pasture forage). But a forage-livestock producer at least knows the size of the pasture area and how many […]

Everything You Need To Know About Prine

Ragan and Massey’s Prine seed offers the best in commercially available ryegrass varieties from the outstanding University of Florida ryegrass breeding program. These high-yield, rust- and disease-resistant tetraploid varieties deliver proven results. You shouldn’t have to second-guess when you need to plant a winter pasture. We believe Prine offer the best combination of quality and […]

MINIMIZING FERTILIZER EXPENSES

University budgets reveal that fertilizer usually accounts for 40 percent or more of the cost of producing forage, and N alone can account for 20 to 40 percent of the cost of producing grass forages. The extent to which a livestock producer is able to minimize fertilizer expenses may mean the difference between profit and […]

Trampling Clover Seed

FORAGING AHEAD With Dr. Don Ball: TRAMPLING CLOVER SEED

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 […]

Keys To A Profitable Forage Program

FORAGING AHEAD WITH DR. DON BALL: KEYS TO A PROFITABLE FORAGE PROGRAM

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 […]

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Hay Feeding Deserves Attention

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Hay Feeding Deserves Attention

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 […]

Overseeding

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Overseeding Winter Annuals – A Practice Worth Considering

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 […]

Key Steps In Overseeding Winter Annuals

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Key Steps In Overseeding Winter Annuals

Fields selected for overseeding should not be excessively wet or subject to flooding.  A soil test should be taken from each field, and any needed lime should be applied several months before planting.  Most winter annuals are best suited to a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5.   Any legume seed planted should be inoculated with […]

Information Determines Results With Dr. Don Ball

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Information Determines Results

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.

Winter Forages

Winter Forages For Southern Cattlemen: Your Top 3 Winter Forage Questions Answered

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 […]

PlotSpike

From Harvest To Hunting: How PlotSpike Gives You The Best Of Both

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.

Forage Crop Diversity

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Forage Crop Diversity Provides Benefits

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.

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 […]

UF Riata Grass Seed

Getting to the Root of UF-Riata: Success Runs Deep

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.

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 […]

Introducing “A Job Well Done,” the new expert-advice series by Ragan & Massey

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.

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 […]