Dale Watson
Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist
University of Missouri Extension




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Please send your comments and sund suggestions to Dale Watson, Commercial Agriculture Beef and Livestock Specialist, University of Missouri Extension, 111 N. Mason, Carrollton, MO 64633, call 660-542-1792, or send messages by e-mail to: watsond@missouri.edu.
For the Week of
July 15, 1999

Fall Growth Follows Dormant Season

Grazing management has a definite effect on weed control of pastures. It is a known fact that desirable vegetative competition reduces the intrusion of undesirable grass or broadleaf species. Even though the reproductive growth portion of cool season grasses has been completed for 1999, we can still have an effect on the vegetative growth portion of the annual growth cycle.

The mixture and species of grass legume mixtures you have in your pastures determines largely the application of herbicides. It is important to maintain this mixture of forages which can be accomplished through pasture and grazing management. Spot treatment with herbicides is one very effective method of controlling undesirable weeds. This procedure involves time, but conversations with producers as well as experience indicate the amount of time can be reduced each year once the growth of these undesirable species has been controlled.

Another important tool I like to use is the mower. This method definitely does not have the control potential that herbicide application has but is effective in stem and smaller brush control. This method also eliminates the use of herbicide, which some producers prefer.

Preparing for the stockpiling season is one of the best management tools to reduce the cost of production. This procedure is not new and has been practiced for years by many producers throughout the Midwest. Keep in mind that the instant a mower of any type is started in any field for harvesting hay the cost of this forage increases by a minimum of $0.01 per pound or $20.00 per ton.

Timely application and the amount of fertilizer applied are always open for discussion. Over the years I have raised the question that perhaps we need to be thinking about fall application for some of the grazing areas instead of all spring application. The cost of the fertilizer products is always a concern.

Grasses respond best to nitrogen application just prior to the time plants are starting the fall growth. Basically the first 30 to 50 pounds of nitrogen provides the most efficient response. Use ammonium nitrate as the nitrogen source if possible. Urea and liquid nitrogen containing forms of urea are subject to some volatilization loss of nitrogen under extreme heat and high humidity conditions.

Managing pastures to have the fall grazing areas available and ready for fall application by early August followed by the fall rains provide the opportunity for maximum vegetative growth.

University of Missouri ExtensionDale's Country Trails - July 15, 1999
http://outreach.missouri.edu/agconnection/DCT/CT071599.html -- Revised: April 20, 2004