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Must-haves for pasture and hay
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Must-haves for pasture and hay

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Do you own or rent pasture or grass hay ground? If so, we have four Extension publications that I think you should own a copy of, whether in print or as a digital version (pdf). One of my key roles as an extension educator is teaching, and like any good teacher, a textbook is a fundamental part of teaching. Textbooks are also a good long-term reference to refresh our memories as learners.

At the top of my list is the 2021 Extension Circular 130: Guide for Weed, Disease, and Insect Management in Nebraska. This is an over 300-page annual publication, so you can get an updated version each year. There are several sections that you will find useful including weed control in non-crop areas, noxious weeds, and troublesome weeds and woody plants, and grazing restrictions for pasture and range herbicides. A 2021 digital copy is $15 or print copy is $25, both can be purchased online (additional tax and postage applies). Additionally, we still have some printed copies in stock at the Saline, Jefferson, or Gage County Extension office.

Second on my list is Extension Circular 118: Common Forbs and Shrubs of Nebraska Rangeland, Prairie, and Pasture published in 2017. This extension publication is not small either at 263 pages, but it helps you identify all the common broadleaf plants. The publication provides key information about each species including a distribution map of the plant in Nebraska, when it flowers, how tall it gets, where it prefers to grow, uses and values, and other important information. The publication is free to download as a pdf to be stored on your computer or a print copy can be ordered for $12.50 plus applicable tax and shipping.

Third on my list is Extension Circular 170: Common Grasses of Nebraska Rangeland, Prairie, and Pasture published in 2016. This 178-page extension publication helps you identify all the common grasses and grass-like plants in your pasture or grass hay field. This illustrated identification guide includes descriptions of inflorescence and vegetative characteristics, distribution and habitat, uses, and values for 125 grass and grass-like plants. The publication is free to download as a pdf to be stored on your computer or a print copy can be ordered for $5.00 plus applicable tax and shipping.

To round out my top four pasture management publications is Extension Circular 3037: Nebraska Plants Toxic to Livestock including bloat-causing plants. This publication is 196-pages and is free to download as a pdf to be stored on your computer or a print copy can be ordered for $12.50 plus applicable tax and shipping. Published in 2018, this resource categorizes plants into toxic, occasionally toxic, potentially toxic, and crops potentially toxic to livestock. The circular helps with plant identification, known distribution in Nebraska, and known toxicology of each plant species.

All four of these extension publications can be downloaded or print copies ordered online at extensionpubs.unl.edu. For more information about how you can order print copies of these publications over the phone, contact Nebraska Extension on East Campus in Lincoln at 402-472-2966. For inquiries about these and other agronomic resources from Nebraska Extension, contact me at nathan.mueller@unl.edu or 402-821-1722. Know your crop, know your tech, know your bottom line.

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