Livestock, Pasture Management, and Agriculture

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SOUTH FLORIDA BEEF AND FORAGE PROGRAM

The South Florida Beef-Forage Program is comprised of extension faculty representing Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Okeechobee, and Polk counties, in addition to research faculty and extension specialists located at various research centers and departments at the University of Florida.

If you have more questions about Livestock, Pasture Management and Agriculture in your area, please call (352) 518-0156 or email Laura Bennett,lbennett@pascocountyfl.net

Click here for more information on Central Florida Livestock Agents Group

Livestock and Forages FAQ

How do I soil test my pasture(s)?

The University of Florida Soil Sciences Lab offers soil testing at a minimal fee.  You are welcome to come to the UF/IFAS Pasco County Extension office to pick up a pasture soil testing kit.  Otherwise, you can read the instructions below and submit the appropriate form for your forage you are growing.

Here is a document for instructions: Soil & Plant Tissue Testing

For Bahia pasture, use this form:  Bahia Soil Test 

For other forages and winter annuals, use this form:  Other Forages Soil Test

Once you receive your soil test results, you are welcome to call the UF/IFAS Pasco Extension office to ask questions.

How do I manage weeds in my pasture(s)?

Weed management begins well before the weeds arrive.  Proper stocking rate (not over-grazing with too many animals), soil health, and proper pasture establishment all play a role.  Once the weeds arrive, and they will, identifying the weed(s) helps to determine the right course of action.  Mechanical control (mowing) is best done before the weed flowers and sets seed.  Additionally, mowing just above the desirable grass height helps the grass to stay competitive with the weeds.  For herbicide control, always read the labels!  Do not use herbicide when weeds are “stressed”; cold weather and drought can affect uptake and thus efficacy of herbicide applications.

Here is a document for weed management in pastures:  Weed Management Guide for Pasture

How do I identify what weeds I have in my pasture(s)?

You may send pictures to the Livestock and Forages agent for identification (lbennett@pascocountyfl.net)  

Instructions for taking useful identification pictures:

Generally, a single photo is not enough for confident identification. Try to take:

  • a photo of the entire plant
  • a close-up of the stem with leaves (so we can see leaf arrangement)
  • a close-up of flowers or fruit

It may also help to dig up a plant, set it on an area of contrast (like a driveway) and set a ruler next to it for some perspective.

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More Frequently asked questions (FAQ):

Q. What does the Livestock, Pasture Management and Agriculture program offer/provide?

A. Livestock health, feeding & nutrition, forage establishment & management, weed management,          agricultural awareness are just some of the educational opportunities available.. 

Q. Does the UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Livestock, Pasture Management, and Agriculture Agent serve Pasco, Hernando, and Sumter Counties?

A. Yes, the UF/IFAS Pasco Extension Livestock Agent is a tri-county Agent.

Q. Can I request to be added to the monthly newsletter distribution list?

A.  Yes, please send an email to lbennett@pascocountyfl.net or contact our main Pasco Extension office at 352-518-0156

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