Flood recovery management for pastures

by Dr. Matt Poore, NC State University Animal Science

We have a lot of questions recently about pasture renovation due to damage caused last year by the drought in the western and central North Carolina and the flood in eastern North Carolina. The drought caused stand damage on many farms across the western region, and also in the east on pastures that stayed under water for ore than a week.   As the weather warms up you should be able to tell which fields have severe long-term damage, which are weakened, and which are in good shape. As you assess your pastures, keep in mind that you really need to be thinking in terms of how much bare ground there is, how much of the cover is desirable forage species, how much is undesirable species (weeds), and whether legumes are present. Your local advisors including your extension agents and conservationists have training on assessing pasture condition, so make sure you seek their guidance as you approach your pasture evaluation. Continue reading

Native Grasses as an Alternative to Turfgrasses in Out-of-Play Areas on Golf Courses

By Gerald S. Burgner, MLA and Danesha Seth Carley, PhD, NC State University

In the past few years, turfgrass researchers have been interested in native grasses as a replacement for some managed turfgrass areas. Traditional turfgrasses generally require more resources, especially on home lawns and golf courses. Typically, native grasses require less fertilization, are more drought tolerant, and are more disease and insect resistant. Severe droughts over the past few years have increased the public’s awareness of and requests for low-input turf-type grasses. Fortunately, continued breeding and wider-spread use of native grasses have led to the production of high quality native grasses that can stand up to the expectations of golf course superintendents and homeowners. Continue reading