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 Table of Contents
 Castor bean
 Coffee weed
 Frosted pastures may bring...
 Frosted pastures may bring...
 Grass tetany in cattle
 Hay: unusual problem
 Hay feeding losses
 Judging hay quality
 Sources of hay
 Smutgrass control - does mowing...
 Peanut inoculation
 Soybean rust
 Tobacco buyout update
 Fertility recommendations for small...
 November estimates for crop...
 Variety trial information


FLAG IFAS PALMM UF



Agronomy notes
ALL VOLUMES CITATION SEARCH THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066352/00052
 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: December 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: UF00066352:00052

Table of Contents
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
    Castor bean
        Page 2
    Coffee weed
        Page 2
    Frosted pastures may bring problems
        Page 3
    Frosted pastures may bring problems
        Page 3
    Grass tetany in cattle
        Page 3
    Hay: unusual problem
        Page 4
    Hay feeding losses
        Page 5
    Judging hay quality
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Sources of hay
        Page 7
    Smutgrass control - does mowing help?
        Page 7
    Peanut inoculation
        Page 7
    Soybean rust
        Page 8
    Tobacco buyout update
        Page 8
    Fertility recommendations for small grains
        Page 8
    November estimates for crop production
        Page 8
    Variety trial information
        Page 9
Full Text






AGRONOMY
UNIVERSITY OF
FLORIDA NOTES
IFAS EXTENSION
December, 2004



IN THIS ISSUE

FORAGE
Castor Bean ................ ....................... .......... 2
Coffee W eed ........... ................................ 2
Frosted Pastures M ay Bring Problems ............... ............... 3
Frosted Sorghum s ................................. ............ 3
G rass Tetany in C attle .................................... .......... 3
Hay: Unusual Problem ...........................................4
Hay Feeding Losses ................ .................. ......... 5
Judging H ay Q quality ...................................... ......... 5
Sources of Hay ........... .... ................................. 7
Smutgrass Control Does Mowing Help? ................. ........... 7

PEANUTS
Peanut Inoculation .............................................. 7

SOYBEAN
Soybean Rust .......... ... ........................ .......... 8

TOBACCO
Tobacco Buyout Update ................................ .... ..... 8

MISCELLANEOUS
Fertility Recommendations for Small Grains ............................ 8
November Estimates of Crop Production .............................. 8
Variety Trial Information ............................................ 9




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.









Castor Bean

Castor beans can sometimes be found in a
pasture. Yes, castor bean is poisonous.
Castor bean is a perennial in the tropics and
subtropics, but acts as an annual in much of
the south (where frost occurs). Found
throughout the Southeast; cultivated and
occasionally escaping and persisting in
pinelands, waste places, and roadsides." I
have seen it growing in South Florida along
roadsides and on mounds of topsoil
stockpiled by the highway department.

Toxicity: The poisonous principle is a
phytotoxin called ricin. In the Southeast
the plant is commonly planted not only as an
ornamental but also in vegetable gardens to
repel moles. Horses are most susceptible to
poisoning, but all livestock and humans can
be affected. All parts of the plant are toxic,
especially the seeds. Toxicity is seen most
often in spring and summer."

Control: Mowing of very large plants may
provide all of the control that is needed
especially in the fall. If only a few plants
are present and if they are carrying seed,
removal by hand will prevent the spreading
of seed.. In the spring as seed germinates
and new plants develop, commonly used
pasture herbicides will likely control small
plants.

CGC

Coffee Weed

A publication SP 57, "Poisonous Plants of
the Southeastern United States" is available
from the University of Florida Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences for the cost
of $4.00.


Recently, there have been reports of animal
deaths from eating coffee weed. There are
two plants commonly called coffee weed
that can cause a problem; these are
sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia) and coffee
senna (Cassia occidentalis).

The following comes from the older book
entitled "Poisonous Plants of the Southern
United States": Both plants are summer
annuals. Coffee senna is very similar to
sicklepod but has mostly 8 or more leaflets
rather than 4 to 6. The pods on coffee senna
are flattened while those of sickle pod are
nearly four-sided. Also, coffee senna pods
tend to be straighter and shorter than those
of sicklepod. [The end of leaflets of coffee
senna are pointed whereas those of
sicklepod tend to be rounded]. These plants
are found throughout the south but are more
abundant on sandy soils of the coastal plain,
and are most abundant in cultivated fields,
roadsides, waste places and open pinelands.

Toxicity: The toxic principles have not been
clearly established. The seeds appear to
exert their toxicity upon the skeletal
muscles, kidney, and liver. The leaves and
stem also contain the toxin, whether green
or dry. Sicklepod is much more prevalent
but somewhat less toxic than coffee senna.
Animals can be poisoned by consuming the
plant in the field, in green chop, in hay or if
the seed is mixed in grain. Toxicity has
been observed in cattle. It should be
assumed that other animals are susceptible
to the effects of these plants.

Symptoms: Diarrhea is usually the first
symptom observed. Later, the animals go
off feed, appear lethargic, and tremors
appear in the hind legs, indicating muscle
degeneration. As the muscle degeneration









Castor Bean

Castor beans can sometimes be found in a
pasture. Yes, castor bean is poisonous.
Castor bean is a perennial in the tropics and
subtropics, but acts as an annual in much of
the south (where frost occurs). Found
throughout the Southeast; cultivated and
occasionally escaping and persisting in
pinelands, waste places, and roadsides." I
have seen it growing in South Florida along
roadsides and on mounds of topsoil
stockpiled by the highway department.

Toxicity: The poisonous principle is a
phytotoxin called ricin. In the Southeast
the plant is commonly planted not only as an
ornamental but also in vegetable gardens to
repel moles. Horses are most susceptible to
poisoning, but all livestock and humans can
be affected. All parts of the plant are toxic,
especially the seeds. Toxicity is seen most
often in spring and summer."

Control: Mowing of very large plants may
provide all of the control that is needed
especially in the fall. If only a few plants
are present and if they are carrying seed,
removal by hand will prevent the spreading
of seed.. In the spring as seed germinates
and new plants develop, commonly used
pasture herbicides will likely control small
plants.

CGC

Coffee Weed

A publication SP 57, "Poisonous Plants of
the Southeastern United States" is available
from the University of Florida Institute of
Food and Agricultural Sciences for the cost
of $4.00.


Recently, there have been reports of animal
deaths from eating coffee weed. There are
two plants commonly called coffee weed
that can cause a problem; these are
sicklepod (Senna obtusifolia) and coffee
senna (Cassia occidentalis).

The following comes from the older book
entitled "Poisonous Plants of the Southern
United States": Both plants are summer
annuals. Coffee senna is very similar to
sicklepod but has mostly 8 or more leaflets
rather than 4 to 6. The pods on coffee senna
are flattened while those of sickle pod are
nearly four-sided. Also, coffee senna pods
tend to be straighter and shorter than those
of sicklepod. [The end of leaflets of coffee
senna are pointed whereas those of
sicklepod tend to be rounded]. These plants
are found throughout the south but are more
abundant on sandy soils of the coastal plain,
and are most abundant in cultivated fields,
roadsides, waste places and open pinelands.

Toxicity: The toxic principles have not been
clearly established. The seeds appear to
exert their toxicity upon the skeletal
muscles, kidney, and liver. The leaves and
stem also contain the toxin, whether green
or dry. Sicklepod is much more prevalent
but somewhat less toxic than coffee senna.
Animals can be poisoned by consuming the
plant in the field, in green chop, in hay or if
the seed is mixed in grain. Toxicity has
been observed in cattle. It should be
assumed that other animals are susceptible
to the effects of these plants.

Symptoms: Diarrhea is usually the first
symptom observed. Later, the animals go
off feed, appear lethargic, and tremors
appear in the hind legs, indicating muscle
degeneration. As the muscle degeneration









progresses, the urine becomes dark and
coffee-colored and the becomes recumbent
and is unable to rise. Death often occurs
within 12 hours after the animal goes down.
There is no fever.

Treatment: Once animals become
recumbent, treatment is usually ineffective.
Selenium and Vitamin E injections have
been used with variable results.

CGC

Frosted Pastures May Bring Problems

Over the past few years I have seen and had
reports of cattle eating coffee weed soon
after a frost event. Cattle producers should
be aware of this potential problem and mow
these poisonous plants before frost occurs.
Animals may not have grazed coffee weed
all year but may start grazing them after a
frost.

CGC

Frosted Sorghums

Sorghums, sudangrass, and johnsongrass
will produce prussic acid after a frost or
freeze. The frosted forage will produce
large quantities of prussic acid when the
plant cells break down in the cow's rumen.
This may cause prussic acid (HCN)
poisoning.

If the forage is allowed to dry for 3 to 6 days
it should be safe to consume. As the plants
dry, the toxic compound will be released to
the atmosphere as a gas. In the fall remove
animals from these pastures when frost is
imminent. [Pearl millet does not produce
prussic acid.]


Also do not allow animals to graze young
regrowth (south Florida) that may appear
after the tops have been killed by a frost. At
any time during the growing season, always
allow these plants to reach a height of 18 to
24 inches before grazing since the young
plants have a higher concentration of prussic
acid, frost or no frost, and can be dangerous.

Frosted sorghums can be harvested for
silage. The danger of prussic acid poisoning
is minimized since the foraged is chopped
coming out of the field and then handled
again when taken out of the silo. This
provides ample opportunity for the toxin to
escape to the atmosphere. A light frost may
even be helpful if sorghum is harvested for
silage since it will allow the plant to dry
down. The forage sorghums often contain
too high a level of moisture when harvested
direct (without wilting) for silage.

Sorghums and other warm season annual
grasses that have received moderate to high
rates of nitrogen fertilizer and have been
under drought stress may contain toxic
levels of nitrates. If levels are high enough,
nitrate poisoning can occur. Drying or
harvesting the plants for silage does get rid
of the nitrate. In some situations, the
potential for nitrate poisoning may be
greater than for prussic acid poisoning.

CGC

Grass Tetany in Cattle

Grass tetany sometimes called grass staggers
or hypomagnesemia, can be a serious
problem in Florida with cattle grazing small
grain or ryegrass pastures. The problem is
usually confined to lactating cows. The
exact cause of the disease is unknown,
although it is always associated with an









progresses, the urine becomes dark and
coffee-colored and the becomes recumbent
and is unable to rise. Death often occurs
within 12 hours after the animal goes down.
There is no fever.

Treatment: Once animals become
recumbent, treatment is usually ineffective.
Selenium and Vitamin E injections have
been used with variable results.

CGC

Frosted Pastures May Bring Problems

Over the past few years I have seen and had
reports of cattle eating coffee weed soon
after a frost event. Cattle producers should
be aware of this potential problem and mow
these poisonous plants before frost occurs.
Animals may not have grazed coffee weed
all year but may start grazing them after a
frost.

CGC

Frosted Sorghums

Sorghums, sudangrass, and johnsongrass
will produce prussic acid after a frost or
freeze. The frosted forage will produce
large quantities of prussic acid when the
plant cells break down in the cow's rumen.
This may cause prussic acid (HCN)
poisoning.

If the forage is allowed to dry for 3 to 6 days
it should be safe to consume. As the plants
dry, the toxic compound will be released to
the atmosphere as a gas. In the fall remove
animals from these pastures when frost is
imminent. [Pearl millet does not produce
prussic acid.]


Also do not allow animals to graze young
regrowth (south Florida) that may appear
after the tops have been killed by a frost. At
any time during the growing season, always
allow these plants to reach a height of 18 to
24 inches before grazing since the young
plants have a higher concentration of prussic
acid, frost or no frost, and can be dangerous.

Frosted sorghums can be harvested for
silage. The danger of prussic acid poisoning
is minimized since the foraged is chopped
coming out of the field and then handled
again when taken out of the silo. This
provides ample opportunity for the toxin to
escape to the atmosphere. A light frost may
even be helpful if sorghum is harvested for
silage since it will allow the plant to dry
down. The forage sorghums often contain
too high a level of moisture when harvested
direct (without wilting) for silage.

Sorghums and other warm season annual
grasses that have received moderate to high
rates of nitrogen fertilizer and have been
under drought stress may contain toxic
levels of nitrates. If levels are high enough,
nitrate poisoning can occur. Drying or
harvesting the plants for silage does get rid
of the nitrate. In some situations, the
potential for nitrate poisoning may be
greater than for prussic acid poisoning.

CGC

Grass Tetany in Cattle

Grass tetany sometimes called grass staggers
or hypomagnesemia, can be a serious
problem in Florida with cattle grazing small
grain or ryegrass pastures. The problem is
usually confined to lactating cows. The
exact cause of the disease is unknown,
although it is always associated with an









progresses, the urine becomes dark and
coffee-colored and the becomes recumbent
and is unable to rise. Death often occurs
within 12 hours after the animal goes down.
There is no fever.

Treatment: Once animals become
recumbent, treatment is usually ineffective.
Selenium and Vitamin E injections have
been used with variable results.

CGC

Frosted Pastures May Bring Problems

Over the past few years I have seen and had
reports of cattle eating coffee weed soon
after a frost event. Cattle producers should
be aware of this potential problem and mow
these poisonous plants before frost occurs.
Animals may not have grazed coffee weed
all year but may start grazing them after a
frost.

CGC

Frosted Sorghums

Sorghums, sudangrass, and johnsongrass
will produce prussic acid after a frost or
freeze. The frosted forage will produce
large quantities of prussic acid when the
plant cells break down in the cow's rumen.
This may cause prussic acid (HCN)
poisoning.

If the forage is allowed to dry for 3 to 6 days
it should be safe to consume. As the plants
dry, the toxic compound will be released to
the atmosphere as a gas. In the fall remove
animals from these pastures when frost is
imminent. [Pearl millet does not produce
prussic acid.]


Also do not allow animals to graze young
regrowth (south Florida) that may appear
after the tops have been killed by a frost. At
any time during the growing season, always
allow these plants to reach a height of 18 to
24 inches before grazing since the young
plants have a higher concentration of prussic
acid, frost or no frost, and can be dangerous.

Frosted sorghums can be harvested for
silage. The danger of prussic acid poisoning
is minimized since the foraged is chopped
coming out of the field and then handled
again when taken out of the silo. This
provides ample opportunity for the toxin to
escape to the atmosphere. A light frost may
even be helpful if sorghum is harvested for
silage since it will allow the plant to dry
down. The forage sorghums often contain
too high a level of moisture when harvested
direct (without wilting) for silage.

Sorghums and other warm season annual
grasses that have received moderate to high
rates of nitrogen fertilizer and have been
under drought stress may contain toxic
levels of nitrates. If levels are high enough,
nitrate poisoning can occur. Drying or
harvesting the plants for silage does get rid
of the nitrate. In some situations, the
potential for nitrate poisoning may be
greater than for prussic acid poisoning.

CGC

Grass Tetany in Cattle

Grass tetany sometimes called grass staggers
or hypomagnesemia, can be a serious
problem in Florida with cattle grazing small
grain or ryegrass pastures. The problem is
usually confined to lactating cows. The
exact cause of the disease is unknown,
although it is always associated with an









imbalance in the mineral components of
blood serum, especially reduced magnesium
levels. In Florida, the disease is more severe
when cattle are grazing young forage,
particularly the first flush of growth during
December and January. Once the forage
becomes more mature, the likelihood of
problems occurring is reduced. The disease
is apt to appear under conditions of
nutritional stress. Placing cattle on winter
pasture directly after being on frosted or
other low quality pasture may cause such a
nutritional stress.

The symptoms of hypomagnesemia closely
resemble those of milk fever or ketosis.
These include nervousness, lack of
coordination, muscular spasms, staggering
and death. When the disease is suspected, a
veterinarian should be called immediately to
diagnose and to initiate treatment.
However, in beef herds, the herdsman does
not always have the opportunity to observe
the signs of the disease and affected cattle
may be found dead in the pasture.

Factors which have been associated with
this disease include low levels of
magnesium (Mg) and high protein and
potassium levels in the forage. Use
dolomitic limestone, which contains
magnesium, to increase forage magnesium
levels if the level of soil magnesium is low.
On soils with a high pH level, magnesium
can be included with fertilizer materials.
Excess nitrogen in conjunction with high
levels of potassium fertilization tends to
reduce the magnesium level in most forage
plants. Consequently, these fertilizer
elements should not be applied in excess on
temporary winter pastures. Follow
recommendations based on soil test results.


Grass tetany can be prevented by feeding
mineral supplements that contain
magnesium. Commercial mineral mixtures
containing 10-15% magnesium are available
for feeding during periods of increased grass
tetany probability. Cattle need to consume
6-12 ounces/head/day of this mineral. (For
additional information on this problem, see
the publication Agronomy Facts SS-AGR-
64 "Grass Tetany in Cattle").

CGC

Hay: Unusual Problem

As everyone should know, we had 3 or 4
hurricanes come through Florida this season.
This has had an adverse impact on hay
producers in more than one way. Hay
harvest has been delayed and some fields
were probably flooded. But, another
problem has appeared that is not all that
common. Dry bermudagrass hay stored in a
barn was discovered to have picked up
moisture, going from approximately 10
percent to 18 to 20 percent moisture as
measured by an electronic moisture meter.
This hay had started to mold, and of course
the possibility exists that it could heat to the
point of spontaneous combustion.
Hurricane winds and rain not only produced
high humidity, but may also have blown
excessive moisture into the barn since the
east end of the barn was open. Also, the
barn may not have had adequate ventilation.
It has been known for years that alfalfa
brought into Florida from any of the alfalfa
growing areas will pick up moisture and
cannot be stored for an extended period of
time. Evidently, under the right
circumstances grass hay will also pick up
moisture.

CGC









Hay Feeding Losses

This is the time of year when we need to be
concerned about hay feeding losses. This is
especially true when feeding large round
bales that have not only been stored outside
(where considerable weathering loss has
occurred), but will also be fed outside on the
ground. Feeding losses can occur with any
feeding system; the objective should be to
minimize the loss so that animals can
consume most of the hay given to them.

Most large hay packages are fed on sod
whether stored inside or outside. Feeding
hay on sod offers the advantage of
distributing hay on pasture land rather than
concentrating it along a feed bunk or in a
barn. When hay is fed on sod, livestock
usually waste and refuse less hay in
situations in which they have a solid footing.
Dry, well-drained, sites should therefore be
chosen for feeding hay outside.

Feeding in only one area permits selection
of a convenient feeding location which is
easily accessible and which minimizes the
size of the area in which sod is killed.
However, it causes excessive sod
destruction, may create muddy conditions,
often results in heavy spring weed pressure,
and can result in soil compaction and/or ruts
in the pasture.

Some livestock producers who feed in only
one area prefer to feed on concrete or to haul
in large gravel so the hay can be placed on a
solid foundation. Also, some producers feed
the lowest quality hay first, thus initially
causing excessive hay wastage but providing
a foundation for further feeding.

Frequently moving the feeding area allows
manure to be spread more uniformly over
the pasture(s) and therefore improves the


soil fertility in bare or thin spots, while
reducing the severity of (though not
necessarily the total area which sustains) sod
damage.

When hay is fed on sod, the amount of hay
wasted will be much less when only a one-
day hay supply is given, and when hay is fed
in such a manner that all animals have
access. However, unrestricted animal access
to large found bales or stacks will result in
grossly excessive feeding waste.

If substantial quantities of hay must be put
out at one time, erecting a barrier between
the hay and the feeding animals will reduce
waste. The barrier can be an electric wire,
feeding racks or rings, panels, wagons or
gates. Feeding racks and rings are available
in a variety of shapes and sizes (racks which
prevent hay from contacting the ground are
particularly effective.

When racks or panels are not used, enough
animals are needed to eat the amount of hay
offered in a relatively short period of time.
Waste can be reduced by having at least one
cow for each foot of outside dimension
(circumference) of the hay package.
(Source: Don Ball et.al. in Minimizing
Losses in Hay Storage and Feeding).

CGC

Judging Hay Quality

Most of the hay fed to beef cattle in Florida
is bermudagrass, bahia, or some other warm
season perennial grass. Alfalfa and other
temperate forages are often purchased and
fed to horses. If a laboratory test is not
available for protein and digestibility
values, one can get some idea of the feeding
value of a hay by "sensory" examination of
the hay.

First determining the plant species in the hay









Hay Feeding Losses

This is the time of year when we need to be
concerned about hay feeding losses. This is
especially true when feeding large round
bales that have not only been stored outside
(where considerable weathering loss has
occurred), but will also be fed outside on the
ground. Feeding losses can occur with any
feeding system; the objective should be to
minimize the loss so that animals can
consume most of the hay given to them.

Most large hay packages are fed on sod
whether stored inside or outside. Feeding
hay on sod offers the advantage of
distributing hay on pasture land rather than
concentrating it along a feed bunk or in a
barn. When hay is fed on sod, livestock
usually waste and refuse less hay in
situations in which they have a solid footing.
Dry, well-drained, sites should therefore be
chosen for feeding hay outside.

Feeding in only one area permits selection
of a convenient feeding location which is
easily accessible and which minimizes the
size of the area in which sod is killed.
However, it causes excessive sod
destruction, may create muddy conditions,
often results in heavy spring weed pressure,
and can result in soil compaction and/or ruts
in the pasture.

Some livestock producers who feed in only
one area prefer to feed on concrete or to haul
in large gravel so the hay can be placed on a
solid foundation. Also, some producers feed
the lowest quality hay first, thus initially
causing excessive hay wastage but providing
a foundation for further feeding.

Frequently moving the feeding area allows
manure to be spread more uniformly over
the pasture(s) and therefore improves the


soil fertility in bare or thin spots, while
reducing the severity of (though not
necessarily the total area which sustains) sod
damage.

When hay is fed on sod, the amount of hay
wasted will be much less when only a one-
day hay supply is given, and when hay is fed
in such a manner that all animals have
access. However, unrestricted animal access
to large found bales or stacks will result in
grossly excessive feeding waste.

If substantial quantities of hay must be put
out at one time, erecting a barrier between
the hay and the feeding animals will reduce
waste. The barrier can be an electric wire,
feeding racks or rings, panels, wagons or
gates. Feeding racks and rings are available
in a variety of shapes and sizes (racks which
prevent hay from contacting the ground are
particularly effective.

When racks or panels are not used, enough
animals are needed to eat the amount of hay
offered in a relatively short period of time.
Waste can be reduced by having at least one
cow for each foot of outside dimension
(circumference) of the hay package.
(Source: Don Ball et.al. in Minimizing
Losses in Hay Storage and Feeding).

CGC

Judging Hay Quality

Most of the hay fed to beef cattle in Florida
is bermudagrass, bahia, or some other warm
season perennial grass. Alfalfa and other
temperate forages are often purchased and
fed to horses. If a laboratory test is not
available for protein and digestibility
values, one can get some idea of the feeding
value of a hay by "sensory" examination of
the hay.

First determining the plant species in the hay









can be helpful. Does one species tend to be
higher in quality than the other. If the hay is
pure perennial peanut, it is likely to be more
digestible, more palatable, and have a higher
protein content than a hay that is 50%
peanut and 50% common bermudagrass.
Mixed bermudagrass and bahia may have a
nutritional value equal to a pure
bermudagrass hay, but may be discounted
by the buyer because of the difference in
color of the two grasses in the hay.

Maturity of the plants at the time they are
cut to make hay is the most important factor
in determining hay quality. If you know
when the previous cutting was made then
you can determine the age of the hay crop.
This can be very helpful with bermudagrass
or bahiagrass hay. Temperate grasses
(timothy and others) produce seed heads as
they mature and therefore the presence of
seed heads in the hay is an indication of
advanced maturity and perhaps lower
quality, but the warm season grasses do not
always produce seed heads before they are
overly mature.

Examining the texture of the hay can be
useful in determining maturity. Plant stems
that are soft and pliable indicates young
immature plants. As the plant matures the
stems become more lignified and therefore
stiffness of the stem increases. Are the
stems stiff or even brittle?

Texture of the hay can be an important clue
to maturity and forage quality. Very young
immature hay is soft and pliable and stems
are hardly distinguishable from leaves.
Hays can range from very soft to harsh and
brittle. Leaf content and moisture level at
baling can also affect texture.


Leaf content affects hay quality. The higher
the leaf content, the higher the forage
quality. Plant species, maturity at harvest,
and handling of the hay that results in leaf
loss affect leafiness of the hay. The
producer must be especially careful when
tedding, raking and baling legumes hays in
order to avoid excessive leaf loss.

Color is the first thing many buyers consider
when purchasing hay. Color may or may
not be a good indicator of forage quality. A
bright green or light green color indicates
that hay was dried quickly and stored under
a cover. A hay crop will lose color when
rained on due to leaching. Mold or fungal
growth may discolor the hay. Prolonged
exposure to sunlight will bleach hay. Baling
at a moisture content of 20% or greater may
result in heating and internal browning in
the hay bale.

Smell the hay. A pleasant odor indicates
hay was cured properly. Moldy, musty
odors may occur in hay stored at moisture
contents greater than 15%. Such odors may
reduce intake by the animal. A caramelized
odor is caused by heating to temperatures
greater than 125 degrees F. Heating occurs
when hay is baled at too high a moisture
content. Is the hay dusty? Dust usually
results from soil being thrown into the hay
as it is raked. Excessive mold or mold
spores may appear as a dust when the hay
bale is fed.

Look for weeds. Often weeds do not dry
completely and may cause localized
molding. How much weed content is there
in the hay? Does the weed have any
nutritional value? Is it toxic?
Coffee senna in a bale of alyceclover hay
would be a serious problem.









Look for trash. Tree leaves, cow dung,
plastic, aluminum cans, sticks and dead
snakes are undesirable.

CGC

Sources of Hay

Check the November 2004 issue of the
Florida Market Bulletin for the Florida Hay
Directory. This is a listing of hay sources in
the state. The "Florida Market Bulletin" is
published monthly by the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services. Also, if you have access to the
Internet, you can go directly to the hay
directory at
http://www.florida-agriculture.com/hay/flah
ay.htm or to the home page at http://www.fl-
ag.com/.

CGC

Smutgrass Control Does Mowing Help?

Smutgrass, both the giant and common
variety, is a very common pasture weed.
This unpalatable grass invades both
bermudagrass and bahiagrass fields and
reduces grazing and hay quality.

One problem with smutgrass is that Velpar
is the only pasture herbicide that will
effectively control this weed. However,
Velpar will often cost $20 to $25/A and
managers are hesitant to invest this much
money for smutgrass control. Therefore, it
has been questioned if mowing prior to
herbicide application will allow lower
Velpar use rates that will result in a cost
savings.

Research conducted separately by Drs.
Mislevy and Mullahey at the University of


Florida have documented the effect of
mowing 0, 1, 2 or 3 times prior to Velpar
application on smutgrass control. However,
it was observed that mowing prior to Velpar
application did not improve smutgrass
control in over 4 years of experimentation.
This means that mowing prior to Velpar
application is likely an unwarranted
expense.

Another common practice is to apply Velpar
at 2 pt/A in order to save on herbicide cost.
Experiments have shown that the 2 pint rate
can control smutgrass, IF weather
conditions are ideal during and immediately
after application. However, if overly wet or
dry conditions occur after application,
Velpar applied at 2 pt/A will provide only
60 to 90 days of acceptable control.
Therefore, it is often best to apply Velpar (as
stated on the product label) between 2.75
and 4.5 pt/A. It has been my observation
that applications between 3 and 4 pt/A will
provide the most consistent smutgrass
control at the lowest cost.

JAF

Peanut Inoculation

There may be considerable acreage of
peanuts planted in 2005 on soils that may
not have adequate populations of nitrogen-
fixing bacteria to result in satisfactory
nodule formation on the roots of the crop.
Much of the land that was in trees may not
have had legumes present that are in the
same cross-inoculation group as peanuts.
Florida beggarweed, hairy indigo, cowpea,
alyceclover, and certain other legumes use
the same strain of bacteria as peanuts. If
such legumes were not present, then a
commercial inoculant should be added at
planting. Inoculation is cheaper than use of









Look for trash. Tree leaves, cow dung,
plastic, aluminum cans, sticks and dead
snakes are undesirable.

CGC

Sources of Hay

Check the November 2004 issue of the
Florida Market Bulletin for the Florida Hay
Directory. This is a listing of hay sources in
the state. The "Florida Market Bulletin" is
published monthly by the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services. Also, if you have access to the
Internet, you can go directly to the hay
directory at
http://www.florida-agriculture.com/hay/flah
ay.htm or to the home page at http://www.fl-
ag.com/.

CGC

Smutgrass Control Does Mowing Help?

Smutgrass, both the giant and common
variety, is a very common pasture weed.
This unpalatable grass invades both
bermudagrass and bahiagrass fields and
reduces grazing and hay quality.

One problem with smutgrass is that Velpar
is the only pasture herbicide that will
effectively control this weed. However,
Velpar will often cost $20 to $25/A and
managers are hesitant to invest this much
money for smutgrass control. Therefore, it
has been questioned if mowing prior to
herbicide application will allow lower
Velpar use rates that will result in a cost
savings.

Research conducted separately by Drs.
Mislevy and Mullahey at the University of


Florida have documented the effect of
mowing 0, 1, 2 or 3 times prior to Velpar
application on smutgrass control. However,
it was observed that mowing prior to Velpar
application did not improve smutgrass
control in over 4 years of experimentation.
This means that mowing prior to Velpar
application is likely an unwarranted
expense.

Another common practice is to apply Velpar
at 2 pt/A in order to save on herbicide cost.
Experiments have shown that the 2 pint rate
can control smutgrass, IF weather
conditions are ideal during and immediately
after application. However, if overly wet or
dry conditions occur after application,
Velpar applied at 2 pt/A will provide only
60 to 90 days of acceptable control.
Therefore, it is often best to apply Velpar (as
stated on the product label) between 2.75
and 4.5 pt/A. It has been my observation
that applications between 3 and 4 pt/A will
provide the most consistent smutgrass
control at the lowest cost.

JAF

Peanut Inoculation

There may be considerable acreage of
peanuts planted in 2005 on soils that may
not have adequate populations of nitrogen-
fixing bacteria to result in satisfactory
nodule formation on the roots of the crop.
Much of the land that was in trees may not
have had legumes present that are in the
same cross-inoculation group as peanuts.
Florida beggarweed, hairy indigo, cowpea,
alyceclover, and certain other legumes use
the same strain of bacteria as peanuts. If
such legumes were not present, then a
commercial inoculant should be added at
planting. Inoculation is cheaper than use of









Look for trash. Tree leaves, cow dung,
plastic, aluminum cans, sticks and dead
snakes are undesirable.

CGC

Sources of Hay

Check the November 2004 issue of the
Florida Market Bulletin for the Florida Hay
Directory. This is a listing of hay sources in
the state. The "Florida Market Bulletin" is
published monthly by the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer
Services. Also, if you have access to the
Internet, you can go directly to the hay
directory at
http://www.florida-agriculture.com/hay/flah
ay.htm or to the home page at http://www.fl-
ag.com/.

CGC

Smutgrass Control Does Mowing Help?

Smutgrass, both the giant and common
variety, is a very common pasture weed.
This unpalatable grass invades both
bermudagrass and bahiagrass fields and
reduces grazing and hay quality.

One problem with smutgrass is that Velpar
is the only pasture herbicide that will
effectively control this weed. However,
Velpar will often cost $20 to $25/A and
managers are hesitant to invest this much
money for smutgrass control. Therefore, it
has been questioned if mowing prior to
herbicide application will allow lower
Velpar use rates that will result in a cost
savings.

Research conducted separately by Drs.
Mislevy and Mullahey at the University of


Florida have documented the effect of
mowing 0, 1, 2 or 3 times prior to Velpar
application on smutgrass control. However,
it was observed that mowing prior to Velpar
application did not improve smutgrass
control in over 4 years of experimentation.
This means that mowing prior to Velpar
application is likely an unwarranted
expense.

Another common practice is to apply Velpar
at 2 pt/A in order to save on herbicide cost.
Experiments have shown that the 2 pint rate
can control smutgrass, IF weather
conditions are ideal during and immediately
after application. However, if overly wet or
dry conditions occur after application,
Velpar applied at 2 pt/A will provide only
60 to 90 days of acceptable control.
Therefore, it is often best to apply Velpar (as
stated on the product label) between 2.75
and 4.5 pt/A. It has been my observation
that applications between 3 and 4 pt/A will
provide the most consistent smutgrass
control at the lowest cost.

JAF

Peanut Inoculation

There may be considerable acreage of
peanuts planted in 2005 on soils that may
not have adequate populations of nitrogen-
fixing bacteria to result in satisfactory
nodule formation on the roots of the crop.
Much of the land that was in trees may not
have had legumes present that are in the
same cross-inoculation group as peanuts.
Florida beggarweed, hairy indigo, cowpea,
alyceclover, and certain other legumes use
the same strain of bacteria as peanuts. If
such legumes were not present, then a
commercial inoculant should be added at
planting. Inoculation is cheaper than use of









nitrogen fertilizers to provide the needed
nitrogen to the peanuts.

EBW

Soybean Rust

We are not certain what soybean rust will
mean as far as yield reduction or the
necessity of a fungicide for the control of
the disease in another year. We do know
that there is no varietal resistance at the
present time. We do not think that rust had
a major impact on soybean yields this year.
It may have occurred late in the season with
one of the hurricanes. We do expect it to be
worse if weather conditions are right earlier
in the year since it is present on kudzu and
beggarweed is also a host. It is expected
that both peanut and cotton acreage will
increase before soybean acreage due to
economic considerations and the value of
crop insurance. Soybean acreage may not
increase and therefore may not be a major
concern for most Florida growers.
However, for those growers who do grow
soybeans, scouting for both insect and
disease symptoms should be done in August
and into September. Most soybeans require
an application of insecticide in late August
or early September for velvetbean caterpillar
and corn earworm and could have a
fungicide applied at the same time if needed.

DLW

Tobacco Buyout Update

An initial meeting was held in late
November to plan the establishment of the
Tobacco Trust Fund, which will receive
payments from tobacco companies that will
then be passed on to quota owners and
growers through the USDA's Farm Service


Agency. Local FSA offices will prepare the
list of eligible recipients. There is a court
case that involves the effect of the buyout on
the end of Phase II payments. The buyout
ends Phase II payments, but the suit that was
brought before the court should specify the
ending date. The judge is expected to rule
on some of the issues during December.

EBW

Fertility Recommendations for Small
Grains

As with all crops, soil tests should be done
to determine the proper rates and kinds of
nutrients that need to be applied. Without
knowing the status of soil fertility, growers
may use a material like 17-17-17 or a
similar fertilizer. Most of our row crop soils
that have been fertilized for a number of
years will have adequate amounts of
phosphorus and do not need more each year.
Therefore, more expense than needed was
used for the small grain crop which is
marginal for grain production and can add
expense for forage for cattle. Growers can
often save as much as $30/A by pulling soil
tests and applying proper amounts without a
reduction in yield or quality. Soil tests
should be done at about the same time each
year and records kept to determine nutrient
needs of all crops.

DLW

November Estimates of Crop Production

Production of certain agronomic crops in the
United States will be even higher in 2004
than forecasted earlier, according to the
November estimates of the National
Agricultural Statistics Service. Corn
production is now estimated at 11.7 billion
bushels, which is 16 percent above the









nitrogen fertilizers to provide the needed
nitrogen to the peanuts.

EBW

Soybean Rust

We are not certain what soybean rust will
mean as far as yield reduction or the
necessity of a fungicide for the control of
the disease in another year. We do know
that there is no varietal resistance at the
present time. We do not think that rust had
a major impact on soybean yields this year.
It may have occurred late in the season with
one of the hurricanes. We do expect it to be
worse if weather conditions are right earlier
in the year since it is present on kudzu and
beggarweed is also a host. It is expected
that both peanut and cotton acreage will
increase before soybean acreage due to
economic considerations and the value of
crop insurance. Soybean acreage may not
increase and therefore may not be a major
concern for most Florida growers.
However, for those growers who do grow
soybeans, scouting for both insect and
disease symptoms should be done in August
and into September. Most soybeans require
an application of insecticide in late August
or early September for velvetbean caterpillar
and corn earworm and could have a
fungicide applied at the same time if needed.

DLW

Tobacco Buyout Update

An initial meeting was held in late
November to plan the establishment of the
Tobacco Trust Fund, which will receive
payments from tobacco companies that will
then be passed on to quota owners and
growers through the USDA's Farm Service


Agency. Local FSA offices will prepare the
list of eligible recipients. There is a court
case that involves the effect of the buyout on
the end of Phase II payments. The buyout
ends Phase II payments, but the suit that was
brought before the court should specify the
ending date. The judge is expected to rule
on some of the issues during December.

EBW

Fertility Recommendations for Small
Grains

As with all crops, soil tests should be done
to determine the proper rates and kinds of
nutrients that need to be applied. Without
knowing the status of soil fertility, growers
may use a material like 17-17-17 or a
similar fertilizer. Most of our row crop soils
that have been fertilized for a number of
years will have adequate amounts of
phosphorus and do not need more each year.
Therefore, more expense than needed was
used for the small grain crop which is
marginal for grain production and can add
expense for forage for cattle. Growers can
often save as much as $30/A by pulling soil
tests and applying proper amounts without a
reduction in yield or quality. Soil tests
should be done at about the same time each
year and records kept to determine nutrient
needs of all crops.

DLW

November Estimates of Crop Production

Production of certain agronomic crops in the
United States will be even higher in 2004
than forecasted earlier, according to the
November estimates of the National
Agricultural Statistics Service. Corn
production is now estimated at 11.7 billion
bushels, which is 16 percent above the









nitrogen fertilizers to provide the needed
nitrogen to the peanuts.

EBW

Soybean Rust

We are not certain what soybean rust will
mean as far as yield reduction or the
necessity of a fungicide for the control of
the disease in another year. We do know
that there is no varietal resistance at the
present time. We do not think that rust had
a major impact on soybean yields this year.
It may have occurred late in the season with
one of the hurricanes. We do expect it to be
worse if weather conditions are right earlier
in the year since it is present on kudzu and
beggarweed is also a host. It is expected
that both peanut and cotton acreage will
increase before soybean acreage due to
economic considerations and the value of
crop insurance. Soybean acreage may not
increase and therefore may not be a major
concern for most Florida growers.
However, for those growers who do grow
soybeans, scouting for both insect and
disease symptoms should be done in August
and into September. Most soybeans require
an application of insecticide in late August
or early September for velvetbean caterpillar
and corn earworm and could have a
fungicide applied at the same time if needed.

DLW

Tobacco Buyout Update

An initial meeting was held in late
November to plan the establishment of the
Tobacco Trust Fund, which will receive
payments from tobacco companies that will
then be passed on to quota owners and
growers through the USDA's Farm Service


Agency. Local FSA offices will prepare the
list of eligible recipients. There is a court
case that involves the effect of the buyout on
the end of Phase II payments. The buyout
ends Phase II payments, but the suit that was
brought before the court should specify the
ending date. The judge is expected to rule
on some of the issues during December.

EBW

Fertility Recommendations for Small
Grains

As with all crops, soil tests should be done
to determine the proper rates and kinds of
nutrients that need to be applied. Without
knowing the status of soil fertility, growers
may use a material like 17-17-17 or a
similar fertilizer. Most of our row crop soils
that have been fertilized for a number of
years will have adequate amounts of
phosphorus and do not need more each year.
Therefore, more expense than needed was
used for the small grain crop which is
marginal for grain production and can add
expense for forage for cattle. Growers can
often save as much as $30/A by pulling soil
tests and applying proper amounts without a
reduction in yield or quality. Soil tests
should be done at about the same time each
year and records kept to determine nutrient
needs of all crops.

DLW

November Estimates of Crop Production

Production of certain agronomic crops in the
United States will be even higher in 2004
than forecasted earlier, according to the
November estimates of the National
Agricultural Statistics Service. Corn
production is now estimated at 11.7 billion
bushels, which is 16 percent above the









nitrogen fertilizers to provide the needed
nitrogen to the peanuts.

EBW

Soybean Rust

We are not certain what soybean rust will
mean as far as yield reduction or the
necessity of a fungicide for the control of
the disease in another year. We do know
that there is no varietal resistance at the
present time. We do not think that rust had
a major impact on soybean yields this year.
It may have occurred late in the season with
one of the hurricanes. We do expect it to be
worse if weather conditions are right earlier
in the year since it is present on kudzu and
beggarweed is also a host. It is expected
that both peanut and cotton acreage will
increase before soybean acreage due to
economic considerations and the value of
crop insurance. Soybean acreage may not
increase and therefore may not be a major
concern for most Florida growers.
However, for those growers who do grow
soybeans, scouting for both insect and
disease symptoms should be done in August
and into September. Most soybeans require
an application of insecticide in late August
or early September for velvetbean caterpillar
and corn earworm and could have a
fungicide applied at the same time if needed.

DLW

Tobacco Buyout Update

An initial meeting was held in late
November to plan the establishment of the
Tobacco Trust Fund, which will receive
payments from tobacco companies that will
then be passed on to quota owners and
growers through the USDA's Farm Service


Agency. Local FSA offices will prepare the
list of eligible recipients. There is a court
case that involves the effect of the buyout on
the end of Phase II payments. The buyout
ends Phase II payments, but the suit that was
brought before the court should specify the
ending date. The judge is expected to rule
on some of the issues during December.

EBW

Fertility Recommendations for Small
Grains

As with all crops, soil tests should be done
to determine the proper rates and kinds of
nutrients that need to be applied. Without
knowing the status of soil fertility, growers
may use a material like 17-17-17 or a
similar fertilizer. Most of our row crop soils
that have been fertilized for a number of
years will have adequate amounts of
phosphorus and do not need more each year.
Therefore, more expense than needed was
used for the small grain crop which is
marginal for grain production and can add
expense for forage for cattle. Growers can
often save as much as $30/A by pulling soil
tests and applying proper amounts without a
reduction in yield or quality. Soil tests
should be done at about the same time each
year and records kept to determine nutrient
needs of all crops.

DLW

November Estimates of Crop Production

Production of certain agronomic crops in the
United States will be even higher in 2004
than forecasted earlier, according to the
November estimates of the National
Agricultural Statistics Service. Corn
production is now estimated at 11.7 billion
bushels, which is 16 percent above the









previous record set in 2003. Average yields
are forecast to be 160.2 bushels per acre,
which would also be a record. Soybean
production is forecast to be 3.15 billion
bushels, or 28 percent above the 2003
figure. Yield per acre is estimated to be a
record 42.6 bushels per acre. Cotton
production is forecast to be 22.5 million
bales, or 23 percent above 2003. A record
yield of 815 pounds per acre is also forecast.
State estimates for Florida are not made for
the above crops, but peanuts and sugarcane
forecasts were included. Florida peanuts are
predicted to yield 2600 pounds per acre on
130,000 acres, while the national figures are
for an average yield of 3027 pounds on
1,388,000 acres. Florida sugarcane, for
sugar and seed, is estimated to produce 36
tons per acre on 420,000 acres, with the US
figures at 31.6 tons on 961,400 acres.


Variety Trial Information

Information on corn, cotton, soybean, and
other crops may be found on the web at
www.griffin.uga.edu/swvt. Deciding on
best varieties is a very important decision.
Many varieties of crops have resistance to
disease, insects, and nematodes. Other
varieties are transgenic with resistance to
herbicides that may be applied over the top
of the crop. There is often a 30-50%
difference between some of the best
varieties and the lower yielding varieties.
Quality may vary as well making a
difference in the prices received for the
commodity or animal performance.

DLW


EBW


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.