In most of the eastern United States (east Texas to the Atlantic and from Florida to well north of Kentucky) there are only are a handful of native species that are planted and grown for forage, and even these are not widely planted.
Under certain circumstances, nitrate levels in plants can build up to potentially toxic levels. This typically occurs when a relatively high level of nitrogen-containing fertilizer (60 or more units of nitrogen/acre) is applied to a forage crop, but there is poor forage growth because of an extended drought. Other stresses such as cloudy weather, excessive […]
There are major differences among animal species with regard to how they graze. Cattle graze by hooking their tongues around forage, gripping it between the tongue and lower incisor teeth, and then tearing it from the plants. Sheep, goats, and horses bite off forage much as humans might take a bite out of an apple, […]
Some highly useful forage crops can be toxic in certain situations. The photograph above shows a field of sorghum-sudan hybrid, a fast-growing summer annual grass, which can provide good yields of nutritious forage. However, it is one of the forage crops that can cause prussic acid (also called hydrocyanic or HCN) poisoning. Other species in […]
For decades, forage legumes such as clovers, vetches, alfalfa, and lespedezas have been considered to be special and beneficial pasture plants. In recent years, incentives for livestock producers to grow them, usually as a companion to forage grasses, have further increased. Why are many people more interested than ever in growing legumes? Here are […]
Sometimes you need to spray around bodies of water and using just any herbicide won’t do. You need a solution that’s made for weeds that grow around lakes, streams, creeks and ponds. You need Farm General Aquatic Herbicide. Farm General Aquatic Herbicide is a water-soluble herbicide that contains a 53.8% glyphosate solution. It eliminates many […]
A key to profitable livestock production is to minimize the need for hay or other stored feed. Use of various techniques to extend the availability of pasture forage and thus keep animals grazing as long as possible is highly desirable on most farms. However, most producers will need to provide hay or some other stored feed at certain […]
Good grazing management is one of the keys to having a profitable forage-livestock program. There are numerous benefits associated with grazing management, but regulating pasture forage height should be a major objective. Grazing too closely will result in less forage production and excess plant stress (some forage crops are much more tolerant of close grazing than others). Undergrazing is not discussed as […]
After World War II, commercial fertilizer came into widespread use in agriculture, including on pastures and hayfields. While no one enjoyed paying fertilizer bills, for a long time it was relatively inexpensive (or at least affordable), in addition to being quite convenient to use to stimulate forage growth. Things have changed. Commercial fertilizer is much […]
PlotSpike is our premium blend of high-quality forage seeds for planting wildlife food plots. It is a leader in the food plot seed industry and has been providing seed to customers across the southern United States for more than 20 years. Once in a while, we get asked questions about this product and how to use it. We answered the top […]
Benefits of legumes or legume/grass mixtures can include biological nitrogen fixation, higher forage yield, more favorable distribution of forage growth, and higher forage quality that results in better animal performance. In pasture situations, clovers are by far the most commonly used type of forage legume. Depending on climatic conditions, soils, and sites, a livestock producer […]
Farmers across the southern United States depend on winter grazing to provide a healthy diet for livestock until spring. Why? Winter pastures help stretch stockpiles of hay, saving farmers money and time by allowing cattle, sheep, horses and goats to graze far beyond the normal growing season. So now that you’re on board with putting in a winter pasture, how do you ensure your […]
Grazing pressure refers to the extent to which pasture forage is being utilized at a given time. This is a function of stocking rate; i.e. the number of grazing animals that have access to a pasture. For example, if 30 cows have access to 60 acres of pasture, the stocking rate during that period of […]
When it comes to growing and maintaining a lush, green lawn, don’t fall prey to old wives’ tales and myths. Instead, trust our facts and you’ll be rewarded with a lawn your neighbors will envy. “You need to water your lawn every day.” Contrary to what some may think, watering your lawn for 15 minutes […]
It takes a lot of knowledge to grow a lush, green, healthy lawn and beautiful, blooming flowers. For example, gardeners need to know when to plant, reseed, fertilize, mow, apply weed treatments and treat any diseases. Luckily technology has caught up with landscaping with these great apps specifically dedicated to helping both homeowners and professionals […]
Woody plants like mesquite, oak, locust, wild rose and sweetgum, don’t stand a chance against BRUSHTOX™. This systemic herbicide kills more than 60 woody plants and more than 30 broadleaf weeds, like Canada thistle, milkweed and dog fennel. Since BRUSHTOX™ targets broadleaf weeds, many natural grasses won’t be harmed and many even flourish without the […]
Broomsedge, which is actually a native grass and not a sedge, has become more prevalent in many pastures in the eastern United States in recent years. This is undesirable, because this plant provides relatively little nutritional value to livestock. Even worse, it competes with desirable plants for nutrients, water, sunlight, and space. Reasons for Encroachment […]
Harmful insects and mites have no place inside, or outside, your home. Flies and cockroaches carry diseases, mosquitoes and ticks feed on blood, and aphids, ants and armyworms ruin lawns and plantscapes. Compare-N-Save Indoor/Outdoor Insecticide protects your home and surroundings. As the name suggests, it can be applied both inside and outside. It works […]
Lawn care isn’t easy, it takes know-how, diligence and patience. Luckily there are a few great products that make you look like a pro! Weed Killers Anybody who grew up pulling weeds knows how tedious the task can be. Similar to emptying a bucket of water with a teaspoon, it’s never-ending. Herbicides keep a lot […]
Weeds are the bane of your lawn’s existence. Weeds aren’t just unattractive to look at; they are thieves that steal nutrients from your grass. To eradicate them, you can continuously battle by spot spraying and pulling or, decide on a total kill and start fresh. Grab Some RM18 When you’re ready to say goodbye to […]
Spring is in the air. Warm days outnumber the cool ones. Soon your lawn will need more than the passing glance it has received all winter. A lush, green, healthy lawn or garden doesn’t just happen. It takes hard work, tried and true techniques and help from some of our favorite products. Test Your Soil. […]
When choosing a seed for your livestock’s forage-based diet, look no further than Prine. Ragan & Massey’s Prine™ Tetraploid is the most commercially available ryegrass variety developed by the outstanding University of Florida ryegrass breeding program. This high-yield, rust- and disease-resistant tetraploid variety withstands cold temperatures to improve forage yields.
Year after year meteorologists and farmers predict the upcoming winter will be worse than the last – and it turns out to be accurate most of the time! But no matter if the winter or extremely harsh or mild, it always poses a risk to your livestock. The best way to prepare for the worst […]
A winter pasture, full of annual forages such as small grains and annual ryegrass, benefits small farms with easy-to-grow, highly-nutritious forage while saving money, time and effort. It is no wonder that more and more farmers across the United States are adopting winter grazing habits for cattle, sheep, horses and goats. Planting a winter pasture […]
We’ve been telling you how great our products are for years. RM18, RM43, Compare-N-Save insecticides and herbicides and BRUSHTOX all offer solutions for any type of gardening, farm and lawn care problem. So now you’re ready to buy, but you haven’t seen them where you primarily shop. No problem! There are a lot of different […]
It’s no secret that we love to talk about how awesome RM43 is, but that’s because we are proud of this product and what it can do for the back 40 or the backyard. It is one of our favorite things! Here’s why we love RM43 and you will too.
We offer our customers many different herbicide options and sometimes it can get confusing trying to figure out which herbicide to grab. There are several options from our multiple brands and deciding which one to choose, pretty much depends on where the job is and the weeds that need killing.
When it comes to winter forage in the Southeast, it’s hard to argue with annual ryegrass. It is a quick-growing, non-spreading bunch grass that is a reliable, versatile performer almost anywhere in the United States, but especially the southern U.S.
Noxious and invasive weeds can be downright frightening, but the proper weed killers can get rid of them! They slink, slither and creep around your landscaping and infect your lawn, forcing you to take drastic measures – killing them down to the root. Some of the scariest invaders by far are Virginia creeper, kudzu and […]
In gardening and landscaping, sometimes you just need a clean slate. In other words, no weeds, no grass, no plants, nada. You need total vegetation control. But choosing the right herbicide for the job can get confusing. Ragan & Massey alone sells six different brands of herbicides and each has their particular uses for weed […]
If there was an “All Star List” for forage crops, ryegrass would have to be on it. Ryegrass can be grown in many areas, it has the potential to produce a good forage yield, it is easy to establish, and it provides excellent nutrition for forage-consuming animals. Given these attributes, it is not surprising that […]
October 12 is National Farmer’s Day Fall has arrived. It’s the time of year when farmers may not necessarily be able to take a break, but at least they can take a breath and be proud of the hard work they’ve done all spring and summer. Fall is harvest time, when all the planting, the […]
Photo Credit: Marion Barnes. One of the challenges faced by a cattleman or other producer of grazing animals is assessing the productivity of pastures. The reason is that grazing animals “eat the evidence” (i.e. they eat the pasture forage). But a forage-livestock producer at least knows the size of the pasture area and how many […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
I saw another dandelion yesterday. That makes 123 for the year, and it’s April.
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 […]
Forage programs vary greatly, even on adjacent farms. Reasons include that soils and other resources vary, the objectives and inclinations of producers may not be the same, and the species, classes, and breeds of livestock differ from one farm to another. However, despite diversity regarding the details, forage producers who have the most profitable forage […]
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 […]
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.