In the spring, you’ll find Bryant Kagay out scouting, sampling and spraying his northwest Missouri pastures. He says those early season steps are critical to providing his 200 cow-calf pairs the best-quality fescue pastures.
“You’re only as good as what you can put into the cow. Raising a quality forage has a big impact on our bottom line,” Kagay says. He sees weeds and brush as serious threats to his livelihood. With early scouting, he can act fast.
Like many producers, Kagay finds thistles popping up first each spring. And as summer goes on, he fights off late-season annuals, such as common ragweed and velvetleaf. He relies on long-lasting, residual herbicides to take care of the early season species and hold down those that germinate later.
“If we don’t manage the weeds and brush, they can quickly take over a pasture and reduce the quality of forage available to the cattle,” Kagay says.
As a third-generation producer in an industry constantly squeezed by tight margins, Kagay understands the importance of maximizing assets that generate the best return on investment.
“An occasional drought year serves as a great reminder, because our weaning weights are typically lower,” Kagay says. “There’s a strong connection between the amount of high-quality forage available and the productivity of the cattle.”
A good pasture management program is Step 1 for Kagay.
“The pasture is really where it all starts,” Kagay says. “It’s critical we have healthy, fertile pastures that provide good nutrition for cows and growing calves.”
He puts soil fertility right up there with weed and brush control when it comes to helping his pasture grasses to flourish. And, thus, his herd.
Kagay long had relied on convention broadcast pasture spraying to take out broadleaf weeds and brush. Recently, he switched much of his weed control work to herbicide-impregnated dry fertilizer. Because he lives in a state where special labeling allows impregnating DuraCor®, Chaparral™ or GrazonNext® HL herbicide on dry fertilizer, Kagay worked with his local retailer to take advantage of this single-pass solution, which he sees as the biggest advantage to impregnated dry fertilizer.
“We’re able to take out two birds with one stone,” Kagay says. “We can take the fertilizer that we need to grow good, green pastures — and already were applying — and combine it with the herbicide we always applied separately and get two jobs done at the same time, for one application cost.”
Depending on weed pressure and fertility requirements, Kagay typically alternates year to year between impregnated dry fertilizer applications and spot-treating encroaching brush to protect his grazing acres. When he finds Osage orange (bois d’arc, hedge) and locust saplings, he relies on Remedy® Ultra herbicide to remove scattered stands and restore productivity.
“We almost exclusively use Remedy Ultra for brush control,” Kagay says. “And we’re doing spot treatments with that to make those dollars work to the best of their ability.”
™ ® Trademarks of Corteva Agriscience and its affiliated companies. Under normal field conditions, DuraCor® is nonvolatile. Chaparral™, DuraCor and GrazonNext® HL have no grazing or haying restrictions for any class of livestock, including lactating dairy cows, horses (including lactating mares) and meat animals prior to slaughter. Label precautions apply to forage treated with Chaparral, DuraCor or GrazonNext HL and to manure and urine from animals that have consumed treated forage. Chaparral, DuraCor and GrazonNext HL are not registered for sale or use in all states. Contact your state pesticide regulatory agency to determine if a product is registered for sale or use in your state. Chaparral, DuraCor and GrazonNext HL are labeled for impregnation of dry fertilizer in the states of AL, AR, FL, GA, IA, KS, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, ND, NE, OK, OR, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, WA and WV. State restrictions on the sale and use of Remedy® Ultra apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions. © 2021 Corteva.