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 […]

Ode To The American Farmer

An Ode To The Modern American Farmer

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]