Cattle, goat, horse, and hay producers throughout Northwest Louisiana recently took advantage of a free learning opportunity at the 2011 Pasture Forages meeting that was held on June 28, 2011. Producers from Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, DeSoto, Bienville, Red River, Natchitoches, and even as far south as Calcasieu parish visited the VFW Hall in Coushatta, La. to learn more about pasture forages and control methods for weeds.
Dr. Allen Nipper, Northwest Region Beef Cattle Specialist with the LSU AgCenter presented updated information on the Clean Water Act and also discussed his bi-monthly “NWLA Makin' Beef” newsletter, which includes basic beef cattle management tips as well as information on cattle water concerns during drought situations. Mr. Justin Hinkel with the Natural Resource Conservation Service spoke to producers about the EQUIP Program as well as the drought relief insurance tha available through the Farm Service Agency. Dr. Ed Twidwell, LSU AgCenter State Extension Forage Specialist discussed basic forage programs including the use of perennial grass species for summer forage programs as well as the use of annual grasses for winter programs. Dr. Twidwell also explained the advantages and disadvantages of using hybrid Bermuda grass varieties compared to using common seeded varieties. Concluding the program was Dr. Ron Strahan, State Extension Turf and Weed Specialist with the LSU AgCenter. Dr. Strahan provided several live specimens of various weeds that can be found in pasture and range areas and discussed different chemicals that may be used to control them. Dr. Strahan and Dr. Twidwell ended the program with a hands-on demonstration of how to effectively kill Chinese Tallow trees with the “Hack and Squirt” method. This technique involves using a machete to injure the trunk of the tree followed by squirting the proper herbicide into the injured area resulting in future death of the unwanted tree.
Producers left that evening with many questions answered and a better understanding of pasture forages and weed control. A big thank you goes out to all of the speakers who presented their information and to Mr. Cecil Oliver with Southern Ag Credit who sponsored the meal, the ladies and Red River 4-H Junior Leaders who served the meal and to everyone who attended and made the meeting a success.