This year has been a challenge for Taos County pasture managers. The drought coupled with the heat and wind contributed to lower yields and lower quality hay. For some producers, this may be the time to contemplate renovating pastures and reassessing your management strategies. How long has it been since you tested your soil? Have weeds started to slowly take over? Below are some resources that might help you in revising your management plan.
Managing Irrigated Pastures
Grazing management is important for the health and quality of pastures. Lack of management can result in weed problems and decline of desirable forage species. This publication provides guidance on grazing options to manage pastures.
Species Selection and Establishment for Irrigated Pastures
If you are considering starting or renovating a pasture, this publication will provide assistance in selecting the best species based on intended use, and the most effective ways to establish them.
Managing Weeds in Alfalfa
Some producers may find that this season's drought set back their alfalfa and allowed weeds to start establishing. This publication provides advice on managing the most common weeds in alfalfa.
Testing Your Soil
Testing your soil is a key part of managing your agricultural operation. Soil testing can determine which nutrients you are lacking and those that are adequate. Proper soil fertility increases yields, reduces problems such as weeds, and maximizes profits. Since New Mexico State University (NMSU) soils lab has closed due to funding issues, we are recommending soils be sent to Colorado State University (CSU) since their tests are similar to NMSU's. The lab can be contacted at http://www.soiltestinglab.colostate.edu/