August Is The Month To Prepare Pastures


   August is the month to begin preparing your fields for new grass establishment, fertilizing existing pasture or hay fields, or selecting and preparing select fields of fescue for stockpiling. 
   August is the time to make the final herbicide application to control the warm season annual grass two weeks prior to planting your cool season grass.  This timing fits into a “spray-smother-spray” program when establishing “novel” endophyte fescue.  Novel endophyte fescue provides persistence and other positive qualities of fescue without the toxic ergovaline produced in Kentucky 31.
   Mid-August is the time to even up fescue pastures selected for stockpiling. Pastures selected for stockpiling should receive nitrogen in order to maximize September and October growth. The recommendation is to apply 40 to 50 units of nitrogen mid- to late-August in mixed pastures or pastures with average stand quality.  In pure, healthy stands of fescue in good soil where production can be maximized, up to 60 to 80 units of N can be applied.  Nitrogen sources to consider are urea + urease inhibitor (NBPT) or ammonium nitrate. Up to 50 lb/A of ammonium sulfate can be added to supplement some nitrogen and sulfur. Keep livestock and equipment off of selected fields until after first hard frost, around early to mid-November. Strip graze cattle to increase utilization by prevent them from trampling or laying on forage.
   August is the time to monitor for fall armyworm movement through grass pastures. There are some reports for counties in south central and southwestern MO that border Arkansas that have identified fall armyworm in bermuda fields. Threshold for fall armyworm is 3 to 4 non-parasatized larvae per square foot. ∆
   DAVID REINBOTT: Agriculture Business Specialist, University of Missouri 
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