Are Weeds Robbing Your Pasture's Potential?Thu, 23 Oct 2014 12:13:05 CDT
Do your know your pasture's carrying capacity? Do you know your pasture's carrying capacity if you manage the weeds on your ranch operation? Oklahoma State University Beef Cattle Specialists Dave Lalman said the weeds in your pasture make a real difference in the number of cattle you can carry. Weeds are competition for your pasture, as weeds utilize nutrients, water, sunlight, they shade out grass and eventually they impact your carrying capacity.
"The average carrying capacity in this area of the state on strictly native grass pasture might be eight or ten acres per cow year round with very little hay," Lalman said. "If you ignore those invasive species and the brush encroachment and so on, eventually you'll wind up with having to have to 15, 20, 25 acres per cow."
Lawman and OSU Ag Engineer Randy Taylor were featured in a recent SUNUP piece talking about the need to manage weeds in your pasture operation. Taylor has been developing a small sprayer that works off a three point hitch that has both booms but can also go boomless when you get into rougher pasture situations. That way you get the best of both worlds. You can listen to this Beef Buzz feature by Clicking on the LISTEN BAR below or you can watch the SUNUP feature shown below.
One other aspect that can pay for itself very quickly is using a Global Positioning System (GPS) with the sprayer. Taylor said a small entry level GPS guidance system will cost about $1,000 - $1,500 depending on the brand. He said this will help map the field, making it easier to see what part of the pasture needs to be sprayed. This will help maximize herbicide, while helping knock down weeds and helps boosting the carrying capacity of your pasture.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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