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Grazing North Texas

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By Tony Dean | [email protected]

Although of little livestock grazing value, this spiny bush has a place in North Texas grazing lands. Probably the most important use of Lotebush is that it is an almost perfect “quail house.” It provides thorny overhead protection from aerial predators like hawks, but the open view at ground level allows quail to see if other predators are approaching.

Lotebush is a native perennial shrub that can grow up to seven feet in height and width. The smooth bark can have dark and light gray patches. The zigzag twigs support greenish stout spines up to three inches long with a dark sharp pointed tip. The small leaves are bluish to grayish green.

Livestock occasionally browse on new tender growth, especially after a fire, and this sometimes results in mouth soreness in the grazing animal due to the sharp thorns on Lotebush. Lotebush provides fair browsing value for deer. Crude protein level has been tested at 18 to 24 percent in spring, 15 to 20 percent through summer and fall, and 12 to 15 percent in winter.

To read more pick up a copy of NTFR magazine. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.

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Outdoor

The Garden Guy

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By Norman Winter | Horticulturist, Author, Speaker

It’s planting season for many and verbenas are high on the list. We had just fallen in love with Superbena Imperial Blue verbena and piled on a bunch of awards then, stop the presses! It has a new name which is now Superbena Cobalt. Not sure if this would be similar to Shakespeare’s ‘What’s in a name?’ scenario but one thing is for certain, it is even better than ‘The Garden Guy’ thought.

This year a cold spell of a few nights had ‘The Garden Guy’ moving containers to the garage for a series of nights in the mid-teens. It was about five nights straight, when they were afforded protection. Several of these containers had Superbena Cobalt verbena. There were three other containers of verbenas on the hillside that I did not move. All of them are now in a stage of riotous bloom.

To read more, pick up a copy of the May issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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Parting Shot: Dogs, Pigs, Goats, Oh My!

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By Jelly Cocanougher

What an extraordinary end to the Wise County Youth Fair – a fantastic opportunity for the Heart of a Champion participants to show. From rabbits to lambs, to pigs to dogs – we’ve seen it all. Through this unique event, the Heart of a Champion Livestock show aimed to promote confidence, friendship, and a sense of accomplishment within our amazing community. Everyone worked tirelessly to create an environment that fosters growth, camaraderie, and a shared passion for agriculture. Until next year!

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Grazing North Texas: Rescuegrass

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By Tony Dean, [email protected]

If moisture is adequate, there are several winter annual grasses that dominate the landscape during early spring in Texas. One of the most common is Rescuegrass.

This winter annual is native to South America but grows over much of the United States and can be found in all ecoregions of Texas. Rescuegrass is easily recognized by its flat seed head.
Numerous seed heads produce seed that is transported by animals and can quickly spread to other areas.

To read more, pick up a copy of the April issue of NTFR magazine. To subscribe by mail, call 940-872-5922.

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