Connect with us

Outdoor

Noble Learning: Can Management Alone Build Plant Diversity, or Are Cover Crops Always Needed? One Expert Weighs In.

Published

on

By Marilyn Cummins

Cover crops have skyrocketed in popularity over the last several years – and for good reason. But are they always the only answer? Steve Swaffar, ag consultant at Noble Research Institute, says, “it depends.”

Below, Swaffar outlines three scenarios and gives his recommendations to answer the question of “plant or manage” for each one, as well as tips for how and when to plant or overseed cover crops. The number one goal in all of them is to increase forage diversity to improve soil health, ideally while still being able to graze.

Scenario 1:
Park the Sprayer and Close the Gates.

He says there are certain situations where “you can park the sprayer and close the gates and let the forages rest. You will begin to see more native species starting to express themselves, because you’re no longer spraying them out.” However, Swaffar says, the natives that start to come up are typically forbs (still grazeable), and not immediately the “big four” desirable native grasses: little bluestem, Indiangrass, big bluestem and switchgrass.

To read more, pick up a copy of the June issue of NTFR Magazine. To subscribe call 940-872-5922.

Continue Reading

Outdoor

The Garden Guy

Published

on

By

By Norman Winter | Horticulturist, Author, Speaker

As a national garden writer, I can tell the trumpet call has gone out for the long summer ahead. This is a call for petunias, summer’s favorite flowers, and they are trumpet shaped, of course. This call is also one of panic as I hear it in the voices of gardeners saying, “I can’t find my bubblegums.”

This means they can’t find their Supertunia Vista Bubblegum petunias. There is little doubt this is the most awarded petunia of all time. You can count them, 296 awards filling 10 pages. Bubblegums and all of the Supertunias, are among the most awarded flowers available to gardeners. By awards I’m referring to rigorous university trials in both the United States and Canada.

You want to get them planted now while the temperatures are mild over much of the country and acclimation is nice and easy. Even in the south it is a great time to plant before triple digit heat indexes are the norm. Planting now will give you the longest time to enjoy a Supertunia Summer Celebration. You want to plant now because everyone is ready for season color and shopping at the local garden center is among the stiffest competition. Hence the panic over Bubblegums.

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

Continue Reading

Outdoor

Parting Shot: Big Shoes to Fill

Published

on

By

By Jelly Cocanougher

It starts with absorbing how to drive on old ranch roads. The beat-up pickup that has run a million miles and is somehow still hanging on – almost always with some quirks to it. I remember holding a passenger truck door closed with a rope, checking on pastures. I remember being at a farm auction baffling a half a dozen men starting a raggedy old feed truck with a scrawny wire you had to jiggle. Feet dangling trying to reach the pedals of a sketchy old truck, navigating the dirt roads with a cold Dr. Pepper and chocolate bar.

You inherit your grand daddy’s oversized gloves that are way too big to avoid pinching your fingers. From observing and acquiring the wisdom from delivering babies, mending fences, checking out water gaps, to doctoring and holding the iron that holds your generational brand. Raising the next generation right – in the dirt and absorbing how the world works.

Continue Reading

Outdoor

Parting Shot: Harvesting Resilience, The Timeless Strength of Agriculture

Published

on

By

By Jelly Cocanougher

He stands smiling next to a loaded trailer of cattle, a poignant snapshot of ranchers in their day-to-day activities. He is absorbed into the generational rich legacy of agriculturally based professions, with grueling hours that have poured in from the livelihood of this lifestyle.
As the heavy clouds loom in the horizon, he remains unfazed, ready to weather any challenge that comes his way. Fueled by passion and in cadence, information that has been developed from generations before him or us all, we are the backbone of agricultural communities.

Continue Reading
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad
Ad

Trending