Ag News and Views: September 2006
After returning from the Oklahoma and Texas pecan growers association meetings where water management was a topic of discussion, I felt the need to write about pecan water management.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns has acknowledged these extremes - effective July 27, 2006, all 77 counties in Oklahoma were designated as natural disaster areas. In addition, several counties in Texas have received the same designation. What does this mean to a cattle producer living in one of these counties?
The bottom line in this and every drought is to protect the forage resource and maintain the productivity of the cow herd. We can never cheat the basics. Many costly lessons are being learned during this drought.
Forage producers with grazing livestock have just come through two of the worst growing seasons most folks can remember. Let's break that down into manageable segments: September to frost, frost to March and March to May. There are management strategies for each segment that can help stretch forage and keep managers in control instead of just reacting to a limited forage situation.
Soil testing pays, and I am certain you've heard this statement from one of Noble's soil and crops specialists before. We already have begun seeing soil test results with high residual nitrogen. These levels have been high enough at times to cause us to not recommend nitrogen fertilization for fall/winter pasture forage production.
If you are like me, you are already planning for the upcoming quail season. The habitat available for this upcoming season is a result of current-year and past-year habitat management. Management practices affecting habitat include grazing, mowing or haying, prescribed fire or wildfire, and brush or weed management.