What you get out of your livestock pasture is directly related to what you put into it, or rather what seed you choose to grow in it.
Millions of dollars worth of hay are sold in the United States each year. Successful hay transactions result mostly from application of “common sense,” but discussion of some points that should be considered is provided in this article.
The best fall food plots, the ones that draw in the most wildlife, are usually located in an out-of-the-way spot that has never seen any type of landscaping. One of the biggest tasks when planting a food plot is clearing the area of existing brush, vines, grass and weeds. The second being getting your forage […]
There are many uses for RM18: your lawn, your garden, and your weeds.
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 […]
First deemed as the perfect solution for erosion control, kudzu may now be the most hated word to gardeners and farmers in the southern United States. This plant, native to Japan, stretches and expands across pastures, fields and gardens, its vines smothering and choking everything in their path including native species, wild spaces and even […]
Nothing is more frustrating than spending hours – and money – on your lawn and landscaping, only to have it ruined by a noxious weed or plant pest. Invasive species of plants grow super-fast, essentially choking out the plants you want to keep.
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 […]
When you mow your lawn, you keep it healthy. Lawns that are mowed correctly groom the turf to be thick enough to crowd out weeds and more drought tolerant. But, mow it incorrectly, or with bad habits, and you could be paving the way for your lawn to suffer.
RM18 is a signature product from Ragan & Massey designed specifically for lawn replacements, garden bed prep, and clearing weeds from walkways, buildings, and roadsides. Its unique combination of two herbicides kills weeds and plants while leaving fertile soil untouched, making it ideal for lawn and landscape projects you can’t wait to tackle.
If you’ve accidentally gotten into poison ivy once, once is enough. This little plant’s oils, called urushiol, cause painful, itchy rashes that can last one to three weeks. While the rash itself isn’t contagious, poison ivy’s oils can take years to dissipate, so if it gets on clothes and gloves, it can cause multiple reactions. […]
Water and gardening go hand-in-hand. Water is necessary to produce lush, green lawns and big, beautiful blooms. When it comes to herbicide and insecticide applications, water can be both friend or foe as some products require water to activate and others need dry conditions to be effective.
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 […]
There’s a Chinese proverb that states, “If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener.” We think this statement is absolutely spot on. There’s nothing quite as satisfying as getting your hands in dirt and growing something beautiful or delicious from it. But, we do recognize that not everyone thinks the same […]
The hot, dry weather that engulfs the U.S. every summer can be downright brutal on your lawn; making it look un-kept and just plain haggard. But, you don’t have to fight the heat – use Mayberry Grass Seed instead.
I saw another dandelion yesterday. That makes 123 for the year, and it’s April.
Spring clean-up and yard prep are an essential step towards having a healthy, beautiful yard. But those outdoor to-do lists don’t have to be a grueling experience; you just need the right products to help check items off your list quickly and transform your yard into a showpiece.
Hay is the most commonly used stored feed on livestock farms in the USA, with a total annual value of billions of dollars. Most hay (especially hay intended for use with beef cattle herds) is packaged in large round bales and stored for several months before it is fed. Round balers are popular because they […]
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 […]
Pond algae gets a bad rap. Take planktonic algae, for instance. This microscopic plant lives throughout the water, providing important benefits to the pond ecosystem by supporting the base of the food chain in a lake. The more food supply available in a body of water, the larger populations of fish it can support. In […]
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.
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 […]
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.
Every time we write a blog here at Ragan & Massey, we hope you take away something useful. For Thanksgiving, we want to give you something we hope you keep and share. Today we give our gratitude.
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 […]
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.
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.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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.