Publications now available on two Edwards Plateau, Concho Valley grass invaders from Mexico

by Steve Byrnes, Texas A&M AgriLife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has new publications on two opportunistic and invasive grasses from Mexico now spreading into some Edwards Plateau and Concho Valley pastures, said Dr. Morgan Russell, lead author of both publications.

Russell, AgriLife Extension range specialist at San Angelo, said the culprits are Mexican needlegrass, which is infiltrating mostly from oil and gas operations, and Mexican feathergrass, a popular ornamental, which is escaping landscapes and cropping up on rangeland. Continue reading

Beware of livestock eating poisonous plants

A post in AgriLife Today about a workshop on managing poisonous plants in pastures motivated me to write a more general article about poisonous plants for livestock in the region. Poisonous plants typically grow in pastures, but during periods of normal weather, livestock usually leave them alone.

However, during periods of drought, as edible grasses wilt or dry up, plants that livestock don’t usually eat start to look promising. If you keep any type of animal that typically grazes, and you’re in an area that isn’t getting much rain, now is the time to start scouting for poisonous plants. Management techniques range from using herbicides to leading animals to areas away from the poisonous plants. If you’re not sure which plants are poisonous, the list of websites below may help with identification. Continue reading

Forage producers face annual battle with weeds

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

It’s an annual battle to address range and pasture weeds, said a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service expert.

Cool-season weeds have fully matured, and warm-season weeds are emerging amid wet spring conditions and creating problems for some forage producers, said Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson, AgriLife Extension forage specialist, Overton. Continue reading

Pest problems in pastures can often affect livestock

Frank Watson of University of Georgia Extension warns cattle ranchers to watch out for cattle eating green acorns. Cattle often resort to eating oak leaves or acorns when grass in thin in the pasture, as it is this year because armyworms chewed the grass down in several pastures.

Read the story at Southeast Farm Press.