Fenceline Chatter: Improving grass forage from start to finish

Lonnie Jenschke
Special to the Empire-Tribune

 There will be a Forage Program on March 8 at the Texas AgriLife Research Center, 1229 North US Hwy. 281. The program is hosted by Erath Texas AgriLife Extension Service. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. The program will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Program topics will consist of Management, Pre-emergent, Cutting Hay, Feral Hogs and Restricted Use Herbicides, presented by Vanessa Corriher-Olson, professor and forage extension specialist; Stem Maggot, Fall Armyworm, Other Pests, Timing and Control, presented by David Kerns, associate department head and IPM coordinator; and Non-restricted Use Herbicides for Forage and Grazing Operations presented by Zachery Howard, Extension program specialist in weed science.

Lonnie Jenschke

There will be a $10 registration fee for the program. The program will offer three CEU’s for producers with Pesticide Applicator License. A sponsored lunch by area ag businesses will be provided to attendees.

The program will be offered for producers to attend in person or online. Please RSVP for the event. If you are participating online you will need to RSVP, pay the registration fee to get the link to participate. To RSVP contact the office at (254) 965-1460.

Easter lilies

Easter is just around the corner and the Easter lily is symbolic of spring. The Easter lily is one of the top five largest potted plants grown in the United States. Today more than 95% of all bulbs grown are marketed and grown by just ten farms.

The bulbs are harvested in the fall, packed and shipped to commercial green houses, where they are planted in pots and forced under controlled conditions to bloom for the Easter holiday.

To help keep your potted lily at its best, keep them at a cool daytime temperature between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Select a plant with one or two open blossoms. As the flower matures, remove the yellow anthers before the pollen starts to shed. This prevents the pollen from staining and increases flower life.

Easter Lilies prefer moderately moist, well-drained soil. Water the plant thoroughly when the soil surface feels dry to a light touch but avoid over-watering. After the last bloom has withered and has been cut away, you can continue to grow your Easter lilies, and even plant them outside in your garden to enjoy them for years to come.

Once the lilies have finished flowering, place the potted plants in a sunny location. Continue to water thoroughly as needed and add one teaspoon of slow-release Osmocote fertilizer every 6 weeks. You can move the pots to a sunny location outdoors after the danger of frost has passed.

Plant the Easter lily bulbs 3 inches below ground level and mound up an additional 3 inches of topsoil over the bulb. Plant bulbs at least 12 to 18 inches apart in a hole sufficiently deep so that the bulbs can be placed in it with the roots spread out and down, as they naturally grow. Spread the roots and work the prepared soil in around the bulbs and the roots, leaving no air pockets. Water in immediately and thoroughly after planting. Try not to allow the soil to heave or shift after planting.

Lonnie Jenschke is the Erath County Extension Agent – Ag/NR. He may be contacted at lonnie.jenschke@ag.tamu.edu or (254) 965-1460.