Why Overgrazing is Bad

Virtually all livestock producers know that overgrazing (i.e. grazing a pasture closer than is normally recommended) is detrimental. However, it seems that many people only have a vague (or at least incomplete) understanding of exactly why overgrazing is harmful. Here are some reasons. Reduced Forage Production– Leaves are the food production factory of a plant. […]

Technology Meets Landscaping

Technology Meets Landscaping

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 […]

Broomsedge in Pastures

Broomsedge in Pastures

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 […]

Planting Prine in the Winter

Planting Prine in the Winter

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.

Tips to Keep Your Livestock Safe During Winter

Tips to Keep Your Livestock Safe During Winter

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 […]

3 Solutions for Small Farm Winter Forage

3 Solutions for Small Farm Winter Forage

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 […]

Have You Thanked A Farmer Today?

Have You Thanked A Farmer Today?

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 […]

Outside Hay Storage

FORAGING AHEAD WITH DR. DON BALL: OUTSIDE HAY STORAGE

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 […]

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Flooding of Forage Crops

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Flooding of Forage Crops

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 […]

Keys To A Profitable Forage Program

FORAGING AHEAD WITH DR. DON BALL: KEYS TO A PROFITABLE FORAGE PROGRAM

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 […]

Key Steps In Overseeding Winter Annuals

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Key Steps In Overseeding Winter Annuals

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 […]

Information Determines Results With Dr. Don Ball

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: Information Determines Results

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.

UF-Riata Springs Forward

UF-Riata Springs Forward

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 […]

A Factor That Limits Legumes

Foraging Ahead With Dr. Don Ball: A Factor That Limits Legumes

Most livestock producers understand the desirability of having forage legumes such as clovers and vetches present in pastures. As compared to grasses and non-leguminous forbs, biological nitrogen fixation and improved forage quality provided by legumes are major attributes. In addition, in some cases legumes can extend the growing season and increase forage yield. These are […]

Healthy pastures with Ragan & Massey

Smart pasture management makes healthy, happy horses

Anyone with grazing animals understands that pasture management is important. But did you know that practicing smart grazing techniques can dramatically improve a horse’s health? According to The Horse, a quality pasture and optimal grazing standards can make all the difference in a horse’s health, especially if it is suffering from a metabolic disorder or […]