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centex newbie

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Looking for pasture management information. I have about 40 acres of somewhat neglected pasture that I’d like to make suitable for horses. Cattle are already on it and looking great, but there are many kinds of undesirable plants/weeds that aren’t good for horses. Eventually I will be getting some cattle for myself, but right now I am just leasing a 25 acre field to a guy for 8 mixed breed young cows. Looking forward to reading and learning lots!
 
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centex newbie

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It’s black and pretty much clay type, although it seems to grow grass well. I’m near Hico.
 

bird dog

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Welcome friend. Ask away. Somebody here will have an answer. For now remember that herbicide is your friend and is best put down in the spring. Don't let your lessee over graze your property. 8 cows on 25 acres may be to much.
 

Lee VanRoss

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centex> You are the one responsible for your decisions so check with neighbors who appear to have a handle on the
things that concern you. Herbicide is a crutch not a friend. Compare it to a drug. A little can go a long way.
Healthy soil and good management will work wonders. Good Luck,,, LVR
 

TdJ

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I'm a little south of you near Hamilton. Have the similar soil, need to find the same answer. I have a ton of thistle but when baled cattle should eat it. My biggest challenge is the amount of nightshade, dang stuff is everywhere. About a third of our ranch has been neglected pretty heavily and half of that is treed. Light on grass, heavy on other things.
My goal is to wait till it cools down a little, mow and dump some fertilizer. Wait to see what grows first. Grass is pretty aggressive in general and regardless of what type I'm hoping to see it start to push the weeds out a little.
My longer term goal is to disk and rebuild those areas. Put summer and winter grasses in, then wait for the rain. But that's probably an early spring project, for now I'm going to try to manage the weeds out.
Now as a new rancher I'm relying on things I learnt as a kid back on the dairy farm I grew up on, I could be completely wrong!
 

Lee VanRoss

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I hear goats will eat brush and weeds. I also have it on good authority any fence that will hold water will hold a goat.
 

Caustic Burno

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Well IMO you need your herbicide license.
The TAMU workshops are valuable tools in pasture management.
What is this horse you speak of, that has rapidly become an endangered species around here.
 

BC

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I agree with Birddog and Caustic on the need to get your pesticide license. Since all 3 of us live in Texas (all be it in 3 different areas) we have seen what it takes to bring back neglected fields. By neglected I mean little to no weed/brush control for years. You have to get the weeds/brush under control.

This is some old work done at the Noble Foundation in southern Oklahoma. Is has good information that still holds true:

 

Brute 23

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Herbicide is your friend right now. I know its popular to push all these "natural" methods but you are going to find out real quick how that works. For at least the first year or two you need fert, herb, and proper grazing to turn the tide in the grasses favor and give it a chance. After that you can go to spot spraying or what ever.

The other option is burning which is the most natural and beneficial form of management.
 

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