Agricultural soy plantation on sunny day - Green growing soybeans plant against sunlight

Matt Garrett is Agriculture County Extension Agent for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Agency and he can be reached via email at Matt.Garrett@ag.tamu.edu or via phone at 903-935-8413.

A Congratulations and Thank You are in order for all that were involved in putting on the Record-Breaking sale that was held this past Thursday night at Bear Creek Smokehouse. Farm City Week has been a Harrison County tradition for 59 years and this one without a doubt was the most successful in terms of money that was spent on the youth of Harrison County. After a terrible 2020 where the show had to be cancelled, the leadership and members of the Harrison County Agribusiness Assn put a plan together. Things would not be done as they have in the past and that was a little scary for some. The buyers, youth, parents, family, teachers and leaders persevered and put a on a show and sale that will be remembered forever. Sometimes change is good. There are some things that are already being discussed for next years event. Again, a heartfelt THANK YOU to all that was involved for monumental event for the youth of our county.

Suns Out, Fertilizer Out?

After a cold, dreary winter we get anxious about our warm season perennial pastures and hay meadows. We start panicking about the winter weeds we see growing, the volunteer ryegrass we see growing and we start making calls to our local fertilizer retailer.

Now, let’s take a moment and talk about the RIGHT time to fertilize our warm season pastures/hay meadows. This temperature information also holds true to the turf in our yards. Most yards are fertilized way too early.

First and foremost, soil test. If you have not done so for this year, please consider obtaining a soil test now. There is not much that can be done regarding the high cost of fertilizer, but there is much we can do regarding how efficiently we use fertilizer. The soil test is the first step in efficient fertilizer use and improved forage production. Samples should be collected annually for hay meadows and every 2 to 3 years for pastures. For soil test forms and bags contact the Extension Office at 903-935-8413

Warm season perennial grasses, such as Bahiagrass or Bermudagrass, green-up when nighttime temperatures remain above 60 degrees F for several days in the spring and soil temperature reaches 65 degrees at the 4-inch depth. For Bermudagrass or Bahiagrass to utilize any fertilizer, it should be applied after green-up and as active growth begins. Applying any fertilizer prior to this, results in the utilization of nutrients by any volunteer ryegrass and/or any cool season broadleaf weeds (such as thistles, Texas groundsel, henbit, etc.).

Usually, the most limiting nutrient in bermudagrass production is nitrogen. Nitrogen is vital to plants for optimum growth. Deficiencies of nitrogen appear as pale green color in the plants, very poor growth and yield and low protein. The optimum nitrogen rate for a situation is dependent upon a producer’s goals.

Bermudagrass removes relatively large amounts of phosphate and potash when harvested for hay. Bermudagrass hay removes 14 lbs of phosphate and 42 lbs of potash per ton of hay. Phosphorus is vital in plants for developing a healthy root system and reaching optimum yield. Potassium is essential in plants to combat diseases and aid in water translocation. Deficiencies of potassium can cause both yield losses and stand losses. Bermudagrass can be a luxury consumer of potassium. Meaning, bermudagrass will take in more potassium than it needs if an abundant supply is present. Therefore, if soil test recommendations call for more than 100 lbs of potassium/acre the recommendation is to make split applications throughout the season.

Levels of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium applied should be based on soil test recommendations as well as match farm/ranch goals.

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