2008 Archive

Spray or Fertilize?

With higher fertilizer and herbicide prices, a common question we get involves whether you get a "bigger bang for the buck" from fertilizer or herbicides on introduced pastures. Ideally you would use both on introduced pastures that have weed problems, but input prices have made this a less than ideal world in pasture management.

Weather and Rising Prices Bring New Challenges

The ranching industry has become an even more challenging business lately due to unpredictable weather, rising costs and cattle cycles that no longer seem to follow a typical 10- to12-year trend.

Are Flies Bugging Your Cattle?

Every spring, our thoughts turn from calving season to breeding season, green grass, rainy days and warmer temperatures. But with the growing pastures and pleasant temperatures come some...

The Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) is a member of the sunfish family. This family of fish contains many species, including smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), bluegill (Lepomis...

Establishing Switchgrass for Grazing and Energy

A research project has been designed to examine the economic feasibility of utilizing switchgrass in a dual-purpose production system that allows for 1) springtime grazing by stocker cattle and 2) fall biomass production that can be harvested and delivered to a biorefinery that will convert it into ethanol.

The Chainsaw - An Overlooked Habitat Management Tool

There are many tools managers can use to manipulate wildlife habitat. The potential a chainsaw offers as a management tool is often overlooked.

Cool-Season Grass Research Takes Root

In the mid-1990s, a program was started at the Noble Research Institute to develop a cool-season perennial grass. Now, more than a decade later, the Noble Research Institute is close to achieving this long-sought goal. Perhaps ironically, the candidate grass was found on one of the Noble Research Institute's own farms.

Top Eight Spring Pasture Management Considerations

In 2006 we experienced the driest growing season on record, only to be followed by the best growing season in 2007. No doubt our pastures have seen the worst of times and the best of times in a very short time frame. As one of my colleagues, Eddie Funderburg, stated recently, your pastures are probably not as good as we saw last year or as bad as we saw in 2006.

Getting the Most From Your Heifers

Many livestock producers reduced cow numbers in 2006 because of the drought and were hesitant to restock early in 2007. The abundant rainfall last summer, however, cleansed memories and renewed optimism, and we began to add back numbers later in the year in the form of heifers.

Basic Keys to Effective Weed Management

Four keys to an effective weed management program are knowing the types of weeds present, the problems they cause, estimating their economic thresholds and knowing their available management options.