Source: Texas Range on Facebook
Planning for the next growing season does not have to wait until spring green-up! Winter is an ideal time to tackle many rangeland management projects. Here are a few ideas:
- Get rid of invasive brush plants: Typically, we think about controlling unwanted plants with herbicide while they are green and growing, but the cut-stump or stem spray treatments can be done any time of year.
- Test cattle nutrition and forage: Cattle diet supplementations during winter are often necessary, but can be expensive. To monitor cattle diet quality and see if adjustments need to be made to their supplementation program, send a fecal sample from your cattle herd to be tested. Collection and mailing instructions can be found at cnrit.tamu.edu/ganlab and the cost for a basic analysis is $35.
- Calibrate sprayers: This simple practice can make sure the right amount of chemical goes out, increasing your success and saving money on any wasted chemical. Be ready for next spring by visiting http://southtexasrangelands.tamu.edu/useful-publications/ and click on ‘Sprayer Calibration Guide’ to download instructions.
- Install fire breaks: Winter is an excellent time to maintain or install fire breaks for prescribed burning. Fire breaks can also be used to protect pastures, barns, and equipment from wildfires that may spread quickly during dry seasons.
- Mend or install fences: Determining how to best set up a rotational system and where new fencing, either permanent or electric, could help to accomplish your goals will allow for an easier start next spring.
- Scout weed problems early: Spraying annual weeds when they are 6 inches tall or less is not only more effective, but also saves money because the lower rate of chemical suggested may be used, as compared to later in the season.
- Learn something new: The Texas Range Webinar Series at naturalresourcewebinars.tamu.edu hosts one live hour-long webinar every first Thursday of the month at noon or you can watch any of them archived all winter long!
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