Texas Farmers Seek Advice As Ryegrass Makes Way for Bermuda Grass

Call volumes increased for Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service forage specialist Dr. Vanessa Corriher-Olson in Overton, as warm weather has farmers and ranchers looking for proactive ways to control weeds on ranges and pastureland.

At this point and with recent rainfall, annual ryegrass is active and producers want to manage it in Bermuda fields to allow the grass to take off, she said. They’re asking for recommendations to slow ryegrass growth – or are deciding to increase grazing pressure or harvest it.

Farmers continue to inquire about renovating, or lightly discing, land to allow moisture to get deeper. However, Corriher-Olson said there is limited-to-no comparative research data to show a Bermuda grass production advantage to discing. She said renovation practices should be done during grass dormancy in the winter, with care taken to conserve soil moisture, especially in a drought.

Renovation success is contingent on post-renovation rains.

“Keep in mind that anytime we disturb the soil, we are potentially promoting the germination of weed seeds so be prepared for weed control,” she said.

Corriher-Olson said there is concern about frost and freezing temperatures that might set back any actively growing Bermuda grass. There were reports of frost conditions March 21 but no subsequent reports regarding damages.

“It was hit or miss and I think it was a light frost, in unprotected areas,” she said. “Frost can set back Bermuda grass, but we would have to have a pretty substantial freeze before there was damage.”

AgriLife Extension district summaries can be found here.

Source: Texas AgriLife

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