Ag News and Views: February 2000
The past several growing seasons have been pretty tough on many ranchers in southern Oklahoma and northern Texas. Drought has caused many of the "good" native grasses in native grass plant communities to decline or die out. Where little bluestem and indiangrass once were, three-awn (ticklegrass), tumblegrass, and silver bluestem have established, not to mention high populations of ragweed, broomweed, bitterweed, and the like.
Burning, grazing, and rest are generally the most powerful tools for managing local wildlife habitats. It may seem simple to light a match, stock some cattle, or erect a fence, but accomplishing specific habitat management goals with these tools requires considerable study and management. This article addresses some fundamentals of prescribed burning.
Early February is the time to determine whether to apply additional nitrogen for spring production of small grain forage or grain. In early winter, producers frequently ask our soil fertility specialists how much of the nitrogen applied the previous fall to small grain pastures is available for spring forage or grain production.
I want to give you an idea of what needs to be done to bermudagrass turf before the growing season starts. The tools are fairly simple: fertilizer, water, aeration (maybe), and mowing. It's the timing and precision of these management practices that are critical to any grounds.