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Ag News and Notes 2-8
Re-certification for Applicator Card coming up
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All Private Applicator Cards will expire Oct. 21, 2017. There will be several opportunities throughout the year for everyone to get re-certified.
One upcoming re-certification is Monday, March 6 in the Magnolia Room of Warren County Administrative Offices beginning at 6 p.m. Cost for re-certification is $25. Please remember this is for those who have a current valid card.
For those whose certification, has lapsed, please call the UT-TSU Warren County Extension office at 473-8484 and we will schedule a time for you to complete and go through the complete certification process.

Considerations for Beginning Farmers
A new workshop offered by University of Tennessee Extension has been planned for those who have been dreaming of green acres. Co-sponsored by Farm Credit Mid-America, the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, USDA Rural Development, and UT-Tennessee State University Extension, “Considerations for Beginning Farmers” will be offered to anyone interested in becoming a farm owner-operator.
The full-day workshop is designed for those with little or no farming background. Program topics include the language of agriculture; a self-assessment of goals, desires, and commitment; basic crop and livestock needs; evaluating land suitability; equipment and tools; potential risks; and more.
Registration to attend is $25 per person, which includes the program and lunch. Although classes are being conducted throughout the state, the nearest one will be held at the White County Ag Complex (Fairgrounds) 565 Hale Street, Sparta, 38583.
For more information, or to register for the class, please contact Mr. Mitchell Mote, UT TSU Extension Rutherford County at mmote1@utk.edu.

Forage selection critical to drought survival
As this summer has shown, forage production from cool-season pasture and hay fields across the state can be dramatically affected by drought. Pastures that consist of cool-season grasses like tall fescue and orchardgrass have been severely overgrazed, and many may have lost some significant stand.
These grasses are generically called warm-season grasses. Most of these grasses are developed in the tropical and subtropical regions of the world, and have several characteristics that give them an advantage over cool-season grasses during the summer.
Warm-season grasses can produce energy through photosynthesis faster, which allows them to use more of the sunlight that fall on their leaves. They use water more efficiently, plus they have deeper root systems than cool season grasses.
Another characteristic that helps warm-season grasses is their optimum temperature is about 90 degrees, while cool-season grasses perform best at about 70 degrees. All of these factors work together to make warm-season grasses more productive during the summer.
Bermudagrass – perennial grass that grows and spreads by above ground stems known as stolons. Good hay or grazing forage. Very tolerant of close, continuous grazing. There are several different varieties of bermudagrass.
Warm-season perennial bunch grasses – include big bluestem, little bluestem, indiangrass, eastern gamagrass and switchgrass. The forages produce high-quality forage early in the season, but forage quality drops rapidly as plants mature, just as with any of the other warm-season grasses.
Red River Crabgrass – annual grass that was selected for higher yield from native crabgrass populations in Oklahoma. Research in Oklahoma indicates yield and animal performance are both excellent on this forage. Experience in Tennessee indicates it can make an excellent pasture for stocker animals during the summer.
Sorghum x sudangrass hybrid and pearl millet – both are annual grasses. They are relatively tall growing grasses that can be quite productive with timely summer rains. Sorghum x sudangrass hybrids can tolerate a cooler soil temperature, so they can be planted earlier than pearl millet.
A good rule of thumb is to have 70 percent of your acreage in cool-season grasses like tall fescue. Thirty percent can be sown to a warm-season grass. Your goal should be to provide grazing during late June through early September. Most producers should think about planting a portion of their acreage to some type of warm-season forage. Although they do not eliminate all of the problems associated with drought, they will help minimize some of the forage production problems we may face in the future.
Contact Heath Nokes, UT-TSU Extension Warren County, 473-8484, hnokes@utk.edu.