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 Table of Contents
 Excessive cotton growth
 Management influence on hardlock...
 Wet conditions and nitrogen applications...
 Layby herbicides for cotton
 Hairy indigo and oldy but...
 Hay and pasture insects
 Mowing pastures
 Summer animal grasses/grazing...
 Vegetative propagation of forage...


FLAG IFAS PALMM UF



Agronomy notes
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Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066352/00048
 Material Information
Title: Agronomy notes
Uniform Title: Agronomy notes (Gainesville, Fl.)
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Creation Date: June 2004
 Subjects
Subjects / Keywords: Crops and soils -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Crop yields -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Agronomy -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.
General Note: Description based on: January 1971; title from caption.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000956365
notis - AER9014
System ID: UF00066352:00048

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Excessive cotton growth
        Page 2
    Management influence on hardlock cotton
        Page 2
    Wet conditions and nitrogen applications on cotton
        Page 2
    Layby herbicides for cotton
        Page 2
    Hairy indigo and oldy but goodie
        Page 3
    Hay and pasture insects
        Page 4
    Mowing pastures
        Page 4
    Summer animal grasses/grazing management
        Page 4
    Vegetative propagation of forage grasses
        Page 5
Full Text







AGRONOMY

UNIVERSITY OF N

FLORIDA NOTES
IFAS EXTENSION


July, 2004


IN THIS ISSUE


COTTON
Excessive Cotton Growth ....................
Management Influence on Hardlock Cotton .......
Wet Conditions and Nitrogen Applications on Cotton
Layby Herbicides for Cotton ...................

FORAGE
Hairy Indigo an Oldy But Goodie ...............
Hay and Pasture Insects .....................
Mowing Pastures .......................
Summer Annual Grasses/Grazing Management ....
Vegetative Propagation of Forage Grasses ........


. . . . . . 2
. . . . . . 2
. . . . . . 2
. . . . . . 2


...................... 4
...................... 4
. . . . . . 4
. . . . . . 5


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer authorized to
provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color,
sex, age, handicap or national origin. For information on obtaining other extension publications, contact your county Cooperative Extension
Office. Florida Cooperative Extension Service / Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences / University of Florida / Larry Arrington, Interim
Dean.










Excessive Cotton Growth

One of the main varieties of cotton grown in
Florida, DPL 555, tends to exhibit the most
vegetative growth of any variety currently being
grown in the Southeast. Use of growth
regulators is very common on this variety. In
2003 there were reports of very high rates of
mepiquat chloride (MC) being used and the
cotton was still too tall for sprayers to get
through. Once cotton is tall, it cannot be
reduced in height. MC will reduce cotton
growth but it must be started before the cotton
gets too tall. There has been little research to
show that yields are actually increased from MC
applications but height will be reduced the crop
will look more uniform and greener and it may
be easier to maneuver sprayers and pickers
through the rows.

DLW

Management Influence on Hardlock Cotton

There are several things that can cause cotton to
hardlock or not fluff out at harvest. Some
factors such as fertile soil areas and Fusarium
hardlock are difficult to control. However,
Fusarium hardlock is under investigation and is
being reduced by fungicide applications.
Another common cause of hardlock is due to
damage caused by stinkbugs. Stinkbugs often
flock to nearby cotton from maturing corn in late
July just as young bolls start developing. This
damage can be controlled by careful scouting
and timely control measures. July and August
are the months that are essential for scouting and
control of these insects.

DLW

Wet Conditions and Nitrogen Applications on
Cotton

Rain in the main cotton growing counties has
resulted in growers trying to catch up on weed
control and N applications. The question is
often asked "when does it get too late to apply N


to cotton or can we make foliar applications".
Nitrogen applications should ideally go out after
the cotton starts squaring and the 3 weeks after
that time. However, nitrogen may be applied
until about the 3rd week of bloom. Later
applications have not shown any yield increases
over no nitrogen if the crop has a fairly good
fruit set. Every effort should be made to apply
nitrogen from first square to the 3rd week of
bloom. Foliar applications of urea are not very
effective for increasing cotton yields but will
result in an increase in vegetative growth. Foliar
applications are much more expensive than 28-
0-0-5 or other similar materials.

DLW

Layby Herbicides for Cotton

During this time of year many cotton growers
are considering which herbicide, or herbicide
combination, will be best suited for post-directed
application on their farm. We are fortunate that
several new post directed herbicides have been
labeled this year. However, with the numerous
choices it can be difficult to decide which
herbicide to use. I will outline some of the new
additions below.

Valor. Valor has been used in peanuts for a few
years now, but just recently added a cotton label.
Valor is a contact herbicide that provides
excellent control ofmoringglory, pigweed, and
other broadleaf weeds. Valor will also provide 4
to 6 weeks of soil residual activity. This
herbicide is somewhat less effective on grasses
and glyphosate or MSMA should be added if
grass weeds are present. It must be noted that
Valor is an extremely hot herbicide that will
severely injure cotton if applied incorrectly.
Cotton must be at least 18 inches in height with
4 inches of bark on the stem and Valor must be
applied to the bottom 2 inches of bark.
Applications made to green stems will likely
result in moderate to severe cotton injury. If
tropical spiderwort is present, Valor plus MSMA
has been shown to be the most effective
herbicide treatment.










Excessive Cotton Growth

One of the main varieties of cotton grown in
Florida, DPL 555, tends to exhibit the most
vegetative growth of any variety currently being
grown in the Southeast. Use of growth
regulators is very common on this variety. In
2003 there were reports of very high rates of
mepiquat chloride (MC) being used and the
cotton was still too tall for sprayers to get
through. Once cotton is tall, it cannot be
reduced in height. MC will reduce cotton
growth but it must be started before the cotton
gets too tall. There has been little research to
show that yields are actually increased from MC
applications but height will be reduced the crop
will look more uniform and greener and it may
be easier to maneuver sprayers and pickers
through the rows.

DLW

Management Influence on Hardlock Cotton

There are several things that can cause cotton to
hardlock or not fluff out at harvest. Some
factors such as fertile soil areas and Fusarium
hardlock are difficult to control. However,
Fusarium hardlock is under investigation and is
being reduced by fungicide applications.
Another common cause of hardlock is due to
damage caused by stinkbugs. Stinkbugs often
flock to nearby cotton from maturing corn in late
July just as young bolls start developing. This
damage can be controlled by careful scouting
and timely control measures. July and August
are the months that are essential for scouting and
control of these insects.

DLW

Wet Conditions and Nitrogen Applications on
Cotton

Rain in the main cotton growing counties has
resulted in growers trying to catch up on weed
control and N applications. The question is
often asked "when does it get too late to apply N


to cotton or can we make foliar applications".
Nitrogen applications should ideally go out after
the cotton starts squaring and the 3 weeks after
that time. However, nitrogen may be applied
until about the 3rd week of bloom. Later
applications have not shown any yield increases
over no nitrogen if the crop has a fairly good
fruit set. Every effort should be made to apply
nitrogen from first square to the 3rd week of
bloom. Foliar applications of urea are not very
effective for increasing cotton yields but will
result in an increase in vegetative growth. Foliar
applications are much more expensive than 28-
0-0-5 or other similar materials.

DLW

Layby Herbicides for Cotton

During this time of year many cotton growers
are considering which herbicide, or herbicide
combination, will be best suited for post-directed
application on their farm. We are fortunate that
several new post directed herbicides have been
labeled this year. However, with the numerous
choices it can be difficult to decide which
herbicide to use. I will outline some of the new
additions below.

Valor. Valor has been used in peanuts for a few
years now, but just recently added a cotton label.
Valor is a contact herbicide that provides
excellent control ofmoringglory, pigweed, and
other broadleaf weeds. Valor will also provide 4
to 6 weeks of soil residual activity. This
herbicide is somewhat less effective on grasses
and glyphosate or MSMA should be added if
grass weeds are present. It must be noted that
Valor is an extremely hot herbicide that will
severely injure cotton if applied incorrectly.
Cotton must be at least 18 inches in height with
4 inches of bark on the stem and Valor must be
applied to the bottom 2 inches of bark.
Applications made to green stems will likely
result in moderate to severe cotton injury. If
tropical spiderwort is present, Valor plus MSMA
has been shown to be the most effective
herbicide treatment.










Excessive Cotton Growth

One of the main varieties of cotton grown in
Florida, DPL 555, tends to exhibit the most
vegetative growth of any variety currently being
grown in the Southeast. Use of growth
regulators is very common on this variety. In
2003 there were reports of very high rates of
mepiquat chloride (MC) being used and the
cotton was still too tall for sprayers to get
through. Once cotton is tall, it cannot be
reduced in height. MC will reduce cotton
growth but it must be started before the cotton
gets too tall. There has been little research to
show that yields are actually increased from MC
applications but height will be reduced the crop
will look more uniform and greener and it may
be easier to maneuver sprayers and pickers
through the rows.

DLW

Management Influence on Hardlock Cotton

There are several things that can cause cotton to
hardlock or not fluff out at harvest. Some
factors such as fertile soil areas and Fusarium
hardlock are difficult to control. However,
Fusarium hardlock is under investigation and is
being reduced by fungicide applications.
Another common cause of hardlock is due to
damage caused by stinkbugs. Stinkbugs often
flock to nearby cotton from maturing corn in late
July just as young bolls start developing. This
damage can be controlled by careful scouting
and timely control measures. July and August
are the months that are essential for scouting and
control of these insects.

DLW

Wet Conditions and Nitrogen Applications on
Cotton

Rain in the main cotton growing counties has
resulted in growers trying to catch up on weed
control and N applications. The question is
often asked "when does it get too late to apply N


to cotton or can we make foliar applications".
Nitrogen applications should ideally go out after
the cotton starts squaring and the 3 weeks after
that time. However, nitrogen may be applied
until about the 3rd week of bloom. Later
applications have not shown any yield increases
over no nitrogen if the crop has a fairly good
fruit set. Every effort should be made to apply
nitrogen from first square to the 3rd week of
bloom. Foliar applications of urea are not very
effective for increasing cotton yields but will
result in an increase in vegetative growth. Foliar
applications are much more expensive than 28-
0-0-5 or other similar materials.

DLW

Layby Herbicides for Cotton

During this time of year many cotton growers
are considering which herbicide, or herbicide
combination, will be best suited for post-directed
application on their farm. We are fortunate that
several new post directed herbicides have been
labeled this year. However, with the numerous
choices it can be difficult to decide which
herbicide to use. I will outline some of the new
additions below.

Valor. Valor has been used in peanuts for a few
years now, but just recently added a cotton label.
Valor is a contact herbicide that provides
excellent control ofmoringglory, pigweed, and
other broadleaf weeds. Valor will also provide 4
to 6 weeks of soil residual activity. This
herbicide is somewhat less effective on grasses
and glyphosate or MSMA should be added if
grass weeds are present. It must be noted that
Valor is an extremely hot herbicide that will
severely injure cotton if applied incorrectly.
Cotton must be at least 18 inches in height with
4 inches of bark on the stem and Valor must be
applied to the bottom 2 inches of bark.
Applications made to green stems will likely
result in moderate to severe cotton injury. If
tropical spiderwort is present, Valor plus MSMA
has been shown to be the most effective
herbicide treatment.










Excessive Cotton Growth

One of the main varieties of cotton grown in
Florida, DPL 555, tends to exhibit the most
vegetative growth of any variety currently being
grown in the Southeast. Use of growth
regulators is very common on this variety. In
2003 there were reports of very high rates of
mepiquat chloride (MC) being used and the
cotton was still too tall for sprayers to get
through. Once cotton is tall, it cannot be
reduced in height. MC will reduce cotton
growth but it must be started before the cotton
gets too tall. There has been little research to
show that yields are actually increased from MC
applications but height will be reduced the crop
will look more uniform and greener and it may
be easier to maneuver sprayers and pickers
through the rows.

DLW

Management Influence on Hardlock Cotton

There are several things that can cause cotton to
hardlock or not fluff out at harvest. Some
factors such as fertile soil areas and Fusarium
hardlock are difficult to control. However,
Fusarium hardlock is under investigation and is
being reduced by fungicide applications.
Another common cause of hardlock is due to
damage caused by stinkbugs. Stinkbugs often
flock to nearby cotton from maturing corn in late
July just as young bolls start developing. This
damage can be controlled by careful scouting
and timely control measures. July and August
are the months that are essential for scouting and
control of these insects.

DLW

Wet Conditions and Nitrogen Applications on
Cotton

Rain in the main cotton growing counties has
resulted in growers trying to catch up on weed
control and N applications. The question is
often asked "when does it get too late to apply N


to cotton or can we make foliar applications".
Nitrogen applications should ideally go out after
the cotton starts squaring and the 3 weeks after
that time. However, nitrogen may be applied
until about the 3rd week of bloom. Later
applications have not shown any yield increases
over no nitrogen if the crop has a fairly good
fruit set. Every effort should be made to apply
nitrogen from first square to the 3rd week of
bloom. Foliar applications of urea are not very
effective for increasing cotton yields but will
result in an increase in vegetative growth. Foliar
applications are much more expensive than 28-
0-0-5 or other similar materials.

DLW

Layby Herbicides for Cotton

During this time of year many cotton growers
are considering which herbicide, or herbicide
combination, will be best suited for post-directed
application on their farm. We are fortunate that
several new post directed herbicides have been
labeled this year. However, with the numerous
choices it can be difficult to decide which
herbicide to use. I will outline some of the new
additions below.

Valor. Valor has been used in peanuts for a few
years now, but just recently added a cotton label.
Valor is a contact herbicide that provides
excellent control ofmoringglory, pigweed, and
other broadleaf weeds. Valor will also provide 4
to 6 weeks of soil residual activity. This
herbicide is somewhat less effective on grasses
and glyphosate or MSMA should be added if
grass weeds are present. It must be noted that
Valor is an extremely hot herbicide that will
severely injure cotton if applied incorrectly.
Cotton must be at least 18 inches in height with
4 inches of bark on the stem and Valor must be
applied to the bottom 2 inches of bark.
Applications made to green stems will likely
result in moderate to severe cotton injury. If
tropical spiderwort is present, Valor plus MSMA
has been shown to be the most effective
herbicide treatment.










Suprend. Suprend is a combination of Envoke
+ Caparol. This combination will provide the
weed control commonly observed with Caparol,
plus excellent control of sicklepod, sedges, and
momingglory. Directed applications can begin
as early as 6 inch cotton. Suprend may be tank-
mixed with a number of other herbicides for a
broader weed control spectrum.

ET. ET is a new herbicide that has been
recently introduced to the crop market.
Although little research has been conducted with
this herbicide, ET is believed to have activity on
several broadleafweed species. ET is a contact
herbicide that will injure cotton if applied
incorrectly. Therefore, cotton must be at least
18 inches tall with 3 inches of stem bark. The
addition of glyphosate or MSMA may be
necessary to control certain species and weeds
greater than 6 inches will not likely be
controlled with ET applications.

Linex. Linex is a herbicide that has similar
weed control activity to that of diuron (Direx).
However, Linex has less soil residual activity
than diuron and thus fewer carry-over concerns
to subsequent crops. Linex plus glyphosate can
be an excellent combination for broad spectrum
weed control. It is important to spray Linex on
small weeds and include a non-ionic surfactant.

Along with these new additions to the post-
directed market, glyphosate, diuron, Aim,
Caparol, Cotoran, Goal, Cobra and MSMA are
still labeled for use. Although these new
herbicides may have many advantages, it is
important to choose a herbicide program that
you are comfortable with. If your current
program provides good weed control at a low
cost, there may be no need to change. However,
if you have been unsatisfied with your
traditional layby program, these new additions
may bring some much needed relief.


Hairy Indigo an Oldy But Goodie

Hairy indigo (Indigofera hirsuta L.). is a
summer annual legume that has been used by
Florida Ranchers for many years. It is a true
annual that makes seed in the fall and is killed
by the first hard frost. If not grazed, plants may
reach a height of 4 to 7 feet. Widely spaced
plants may branch to fill in spaces up to 5 feet in
diameter. The stems become very woody as the
plant matures. Stems and leaves are covered
with short, bristle-like hairs. There have been
reports that these hairs have caused irritation of
the grazing animal's skin when the animals were
grazing for extended periods of time and when
heavy dews were present. Hairy indigo produces
30 to 70 percent hard seed. These seed may
drop to the ground, but do not germinate during
the year they are produced. They will germinate
in future years when dormancy is broken, thus
insuring a good volunteer stand. For this reason
some vegetable and most agronomic row crop
growers consider hairy indigo a weed! Hairy
indigo is adapted to high dry upland sands, but
will also grow on well drained flatwoods.

The leaves of hairy indigo are very high in
protein and are highly digestible. Animals may
take one or two days to learn to eat hairy indigo.
In a creep grazing study calves learned to eat
hairy indigo and gained 1.80 pounds per day
where as on the control treatment (bahiagrass
alone) they gained 1.50 pounds per day. Some
producers stockpile hairy indigo for use in the
fall. Cows will lick the leaves off the plants
leaving the course woody stems.

"Production Recommendations for Florida"

1. Plant on well-drained soils between March
15 and June 15.
2. Graze grass as close as possible (less than 3
inches) if planting in perennial grass sod.










3. Drill in 5 to 10 pounds of seed per acre or
broadcast 10 to 15 pounds per acre with a
prepared seedbed and 15 pounds per acre,
broadcast in established pasture. Plant seed
no more than V2 inch deep.
4. Fertilizer application should be based on soil
tests, the producer's knowledge of his field
and pasture fertility, and his production
objectives. No nitrogen should be applied.
5. Lime to a target pH of 6.0.
6. Graze when the crop reaches 12 to 18 inches
in height.
7. Cut for hay when the crop is 2 feet to 3 feet
in height, leaving a 3-inch stubble.
8. Practice rotational grazing.
9. If you wish to obtain a harvestable seed
crop, remove the cattle two weeks prior to
flower initiation."
(Source Circular S-318, "Hairy Indigo a
Summer Legume for Florida" by D. D.
Baltensperger and others)

CGC


Hay and Pasture Insects


Be on the look out for fall armyworms and grass
loopers. Fertilized pastures and hay fields seem
to attract the fall armyworm moth. They
especially like bermudagrass. Populations reach
a peak in late July, August and September. A
large congregation of cattle egrets in a field
fertilized for fall hay production may indicate an
infestation of fall armyworms.

Spittlebugs build up in fields where grass has
been allowed to accumulate throughout the
summer. Circular spots where the grass is dying
back indicates spittlebug damage. Fields with a
severe spittlebug infestation should be grazed or
harvested for hay or silage. This will open the
field up and allow sunlight to desiccate the
young nymphs. If the adults are emerging or
have emerged at the time when the field is
harvested, then they can be killed with an
application of insecticide. Burning of fields in
the winter helps in spittlebug control.


Susceptible plants include digitgrass (Pangola),
limpograsses, and bermudagrasses. Chinch bugs
have been a problem on Callide Rhodesgrass.
Chinch bug damage usually occurs on the
higher, dryer ground. Populations should
diminish in September.

CGC

Mowing Pastures

Late July early August may be a good time to
mow pastures. Usually by this time, dogfennels
are large but have not made seed. Mowing them
at this time may reduce their regrowth. Also,
pastures will have been spot grazed and mowing
the tops off of accumulated bahiagrass will
allow new growth to develop that will be more
palatable and nutritious. For the commercial
cattle operation, mowing should be avoided if
possible for economic reasons. In some
situations, use of a herbicide for weed control
may be called for.


CGC


Summer Annual Grasses/Grazing
Management

Pearlmillet and the sorghum x sudangrass
hybrids can add quantity and quality to a
summer forage program. These crops, when
planted on well drained, fertile soils and with
proper fertilization and management, can furnish
grazing for 2 or more cows per acre from June
into September. Forage quality declines rapidly
as plants mature so grazing management should
be designed to keep the plants in a young
vegetative state. Rotational grazing can be used
with either grass. Allow the plants to grow to a
height of 25 to 30 inches and then graze down to
6 to 8 inches. Continuous grazing can be used
on pearl millet, if the stocking rate can be
adjusted to keep the forage at 10 to 12 inches.
Close continuous grazing reduces the stand and
lowers subsequent production. The sorghum x
sudangrass hybrids










3. Drill in 5 to 10 pounds of seed per acre or
broadcast 10 to 15 pounds per acre with a
prepared seedbed and 15 pounds per acre,
broadcast in established pasture. Plant seed
no more than V2 inch deep.
4. Fertilizer application should be based on soil
tests, the producer's knowledge of his field
and pasture fertility, and his production
objectives. No nitrogen should be applied.
5. Lime to a target pH of 6.0.
6. Graze when the crop reaches 12 to 18 inches
in height.
7. Cut for hay when the crop is 2 feet to 3 feet
in height, leaving a 3-inch stubble.
8. Practice rotational grazing.
9. If you wish to obtain a harvestable seed
crop, remove the cattle two weeks prior to
flower initiation."
(Source Circular S-318, "Hairy Indigo a
Summer Legume for Florida" by D. D.
Baltensperger and others)

CGC


Hay and Pasture Insects


Be on the look out for fall armyworms and grass
loopers. Fertilized pastures and hay fields seem
to attract the fall armyworm moth. They
especially like bermudagrass. Populations reach
a peak in late July, August and September. A
large congregation of cattle egrets in a field
fertilized for fall hay production may indicate an
infestation of fall armyworms.

Spittlebugs build up in fields where grass has
been allowed to accumulate throughout the
summer. Circular spots where the grass is dying
back indicates spittlebug damage. Fields with a
severe spittlebug infestation should be grazed or
harvested for hay or silage. This will open the
field up and allow sunlight to desiccate the
young nymphs. If the adults are emerging or
have emerged at the time when the field is
harvested, then they can be killed with an
application of insecticide. Burning of fields in
the winter helps in spittlebug control.


Susceptible plants include digitgrass (Pangola),
limpograsses, and bermudagrasses. Chinch bugs
have been a problem on Callide Rhodesgrass.
Chinch bug damage usually occurs on the
higher, dryer ground. Populations should
diminish in September.

CGC

Mowing Pastures

Late July early August may be a good time to
mow pastures. Usually by this time, dogfennels
are large but have not made seed. Mowing them
at this time may reduce their regrowth. Also,
pastures will have been spot grazed and mowing
the tops off of accumulated bahiagrass will
allow new growth to develop that will be more
palatable and nutritious. For the commercial
cattle operation, mowing should be avoided if
possible for economic reasons. In some
situations, use of a herbicide for weed control
may be called for.


CGC


Summer Annual Grasses/Grazing
Management

Pearlmillet and the sorghum x sudangrass
hybrids can add quantity and quality to a
summer forage program. These crops, when
planted on well drained, fertile soils and with
proper fertilization and management, can furnish
grazing for 2 or more cows per acre from June
into September. Forage quality declines rapidly
as plants mature so grazing management should
be designed to keep the plants in a young
vegetative state. Rotational grazing can be used
with either grass. Allow the plants to grow to a
height of 25 to 30 inches and then graze down to
6 to 8 inches. Continuous grazing can be used
on pearl millet, if the stocking rate can be
adjusted to keep the forage at 10 to 12 inches.
Close continuous grazing reduces the stand and
lowers subsequent production. The sorghum x
sudangrass hybrids










3. Drill in 5 to 10 pounds of seed per acre or
broadcast 10 to 15 pounds per acre with a
prepared seedbed and 15 pounds per acre,
broadcast in established pasture. Plant seed
no more than V2 inch deep.
4. Fertilizer application should be based on soil
tests, the producer's knowledge of his field
and pasture fertility, and his production
objectives. No nitrogen should be applied.
5. Lime to a target pH of 6.0.
6. Graze when the crop reaches 12 to 18 inches
in height.
7. Cut for hay when the crop is 2 feet to 3 feet
in height, leaving a 3-inch stubble.
8. Practice rotational grazing.
9. If you wish to obtain a harvestable seed
crop, remove the cattle two weeks prior to
flower initiation."
(Source Circular S-318, "Hairy Indigo a
Summer Legume for Florida" by D. D.
Baltensperger and others)

CGC


Hay and Pasture Insects


Be on the look out for fall armyworms and grass
loopers. Fertilized pastures and hay fields seem
to attract the fall armyworm moth. They
especially like bermudagrass. Populations reach
a peak in late July, August and September. A
large congregation of cattle egrets in a field
fertilized for fall hay production may indicate an
infestation of fall armyworms.

Spittlebugs build up in fields where grass has
been allowed to accumulate throughout the
summer. Circular spots where the grass is dying
back indicates spittlebug damage. Fields with a
severe spittlebug infestation should be grazed or
harvested for hay or silage. This will open the
field up and allow sunlight to desiccate the
young nymphs. If the adults are emerging or
have emerged at the time when the field is
harvested, then they can be killed with an
application of insecticide. Burning of fields in
the winter helps in spittlebug control.


Susceptible plants include digitgrass (Pangola),
limpograsses, and bermudagrasses. Chinch bugs
have been a problem on Callide Rhodesgrass.
Chinch bug damage usually occurs on the
higher, dryer ground. Populations should
diminish in September.

CGC

Mowing Pastures

Late July early August may be a good time to
mow pastures. Usually by this time, dogfennels
are large but have not made seed. Mowing them
at this time may reduce their regrowth. Also,
pastures will have been spot grazed and mowing
the tops off of accumulated bahiagrass will
allow new growth to develop that will be more
palatable and nutritious. For the commercial
cattle operation, mowing should be avoided if
possible for economic reasons. In some
situations, use of a herbicide for weed control
may be called for.


CGC


Summer Annual Grasses/Grazing
Management

Pearlmillet and the sorghum x sudangrass
hybrids can add quantity and quality to a
summer forage program. These crops, when
planted on well drained, fertile soils and with
proper fertilization and management, can furnish
grazing for 2 or more cows per acre from June
into September. Forage quality declines rapidly
as plants mature so grazing management should
be designed to keep the plants in a young
vegetative state. Rotational grazing can be used
with either grass. Allow the plants to grow to a
height of 25 to 30 inches and then graze down to
6 to 8 inches. Continuous grazing can be used
on pearl millet, if the stocking rate can be
adjusted to keep the forage at 10 to 12 inches.
Close continuous grazing reduces the stand and
lowers subsequent production. The sorghum x
sudangrass hybrids










should not be grazed continuously because of
the danger of prussic acid poisoning when
young forage is consumed. This crop should not
be grazed before plants reach 30 inches.

CGC

Vegetative Propagation of Forage Grasses

In order to obtain good stands, Coastal
bermudagrass, Tifton 85, stargrasses, and other
vegetatively propagated grasses require special
attention. When preparing a seedbed, two
factors are important: 1) dug sprigs or tops
should be planted in moist soil and 2) the
seedbed should be free of weeds.

There are four common reasons for stand
failures: 1) planting in fields that have stands of
other grasses (common bermudagrass), 2) using
dried out sprigs or tops, 3) prolonged drought
after planting and 4) grazing before the grass is
established. The planting material should be
planted on a clean, moist seedbed that is free of
other growing grasses. When planting tops, use


mature grass 8 to 10 weeks old. Use fresh
planting material with at least three nodes or
joints. Plant sprigs or tops the same day they are
harvested. Cover the planting material
immediately or within 15 minutes after dropping
on the soil surface. Experience has shown that
bermudagrass tops will dry out quicker than
bermudagrass sprigs and quicker than tops of
Pangola digitgrass. Packing or firming the soil
around the planting material after it has been
distributed and covered is very critical in
maintaining adequate soil moisture in the soil
surface and thus preventing the planting material
from drying out and dying. Grass planted in the
summer usually requires 90 days or more before
it is established well enough for any type of
harvest to be taken. If less than 100% stand
establishment has occurred, caution should be
exercised during the first year after planting to
allow for complete stand development. In north
Florida, try to complete summer plantings by
August 15.

CGC


The use of trade names does not constitute a guarantee or warrant of products named and does not signify approval to the exclusion of similar
products.
Prepared by: J. M. Bennett, Chairman; C. G. Chambliss, Extension Agronomist; J.A. Ferrell, Extension Agronomist, G. E. MacDonald, Weed
Researcher, M. B. Adjei, Forage Agronomist, E. B. Whitty, Extension Agronomist, D. L. Wright, Extension Agronomist.