Spring has sprung!

Often the temperatures in May make me forget about how harsh our summers can be. With the presence of all this rain, our pastures are growing rapidly and a spike in clover populations and growth can be seen all over Northeast Texas. As I was talking about this with Hopkins Rains USDA personnel earlier in the week, I was quickly reminded how rapidly the condition can change if raining stops. All the sudden, moisture can change everything. A good thing about all this rain (other than plant growth it is) is the effect of saturated soils in insects and more specific grasshoppers.  Grasshoppers have a developmental stage in the ground and early instars of the hoppers are very sensitive of fungus infections. IF our rain continues during high temperature waves, those baby hatchlings will suffer and die due to fungal diseases. A good logical question is how many will eventually die due to disease compare to those hatching, and that, it will be really hard to tell and impossible to predict. Hopefully we will have a reduce population of early stages of grasshoppers getting into adulthood and depositing eggs. Hopefully we will have, if the conditions are correct, a year with low levels of grasshoppers. Another situation occurring in lawns and pastures under our weather conditions is the appearance of ”never seen before” weeds. Because the environmental conditions are different than last year, seeds  in latency tend to sprout. This can make those weeds grow and create the appearance of new weed infestations when in reality is the number, not the type, what is new this year. As a general rule, rotation of herbicides (using dicamba based products instead of 2-4 D based products) can get the job done specially with those hard to kill weeds. An accurate weed identification is critical in a successful weed control program. Remember: Weeds are always easier to kill when those are small, and proper identification can make tremendous impact in determine treatment timing and herbicide selection.  To help you get your weed control program to a good start, the Hopkins County Extension Office can help you with proper weed identification. A good specimen including a complete plant with flowers is often needed. Contact the Hopkins County Extension Office at 903-885-3443 for more information on this or any other agricultural topic, or you can e-mail me at [email protected].

Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information or veteran status. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating.

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