McClain County Agriculture
Welcome to the McClain County Agriculture page! Find programs and information about agriculture, production and management within McClain county and surrounding areas to help your farm, ranch or garden. We are always happy to help and direct you in the right direction to best fit your needs.
Broomsedge Bluestem is an Opportunistic-Indicator Plant
The grass that gives a lot of Eastern Oklahoma pastures the bronze or copper colored appearance during the fall and winter is broomsedge bluestem, also known as "sage grass"
General Pesticide Safety
Yard and garden work is in full swing at this time, so now would be a good time to discuss safe handling of pesticides. If you are using pesticides in your lawn or garden it is very important that you use them according to the label to protect you and your loved ones.
Will Pasture Legumes Eliminate My Need to Purchase Nitrogen Fertilizer?
The cost of nitrogen fertilizer can be one of the biggest expenses to forage production. This has many producers wondering if there is a cheaper way of producing the forage they need for their grazing animals. Some are looking at legumes as a way of bridging the gap in the production of their grass pastures since they have reduced nitrogen fertilizer inputs.
Controlling Broadleaf Weeds in Home Lawns
A healthy, vigorous turf is the best control for weeds. Most common broadleaf weeds are not a problem when a well adapted turfgrass is properly established, fertilized, mowed, and watered.
Preventing Summer Fish Kills
The suddenness with which a low oxygen fish kill happens can leave pond owners in shock. Fish that were healthy and active one day are dead the next. A little effort put into preventing fish kills can be very worthwhile.
Dealing with Armadillos
One of the most common wildlife damage complaints during the summer months concerns armadillos. Armadillos usually cause problems during the late hours of the night as they dig for insects and larvae in lawns.
Keeping Vaccines at Proper Temperatures
Respiratory disease in cattle, also known as BRD, shipping fever or pneumonia, may cost the U.S. cattle industry over $2 billion annually. Management techniques can offset much of this cost and having a good vaccination program can maintain the health of a calf all the way through the production system.
Soil, Water & Forage Testing
The Soil, Water and Forage Analytical Laboratory (SWFAL) was established by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service to provide soil testing, plant, animal waste and water analyses for the State of Oklahoma and anyone who needs agricultural testing services. Each year over 60,000 various samples are submitted for analyses by thousands of farmers, ranchers, homeowners, consultants, governmental agencies and researchers. Interpretations and recommendations are made based on many years' field calibrations conducted in Oklahoma. SWFAL provides valuable information that helps lab users to protect and utilize their soil, water, animal manure, and forage resources efficiently and effectively.
Benefits of Testing
- Soil Testing: The Best Management Practice
- Increases productivity by identifying soil nutrients or soil chemical factors that are limiting plant growth
- Increases fertilizer use efficiency by indicating appropriate rates for different soils and crops;
- Protects the environment by reducing over fertilization
Identifies polluted or contaminated soils.
- Water Testing
- Protects the health of people, livestock, and crops;
- Identifies polluted or contaminated water supplies;
- Indicates the suitability of water for various uses.
- Forage and Feed Testing
- Aids in identification of best management practices for forage production;
- Improves marketability of the forage;
- Increases livestock feeding efficiency;
- Prevents livestock poisoning from nitrate.
- Manure and Animal Waste Testing
- Use nutrients efficiently by knowing the content of various types of manure;
- Provide information for Nutrient Management Plan development and water quality protection;
- Ensure waste treatment facility functioning properly.
- Greenhouse Media Testing
- Ensure adequate and balanced nutrients;
- Maintaining appropriate pH;
- Avoid high salinity and other toxic elements building up in the media
Soil Sample FAQ's
- What Is a Soil Test?
A Soil Test is a process by which nutrients are chemically removed from the soil and measured for their plant available content within the sample. The quantity of available nutrients in the sample determines the amount of fertilizers needed for a particular crop. A soil test also measures pH and the amount of acidity within the soil to determine if lime is needed and how much should be applied.
- How Often Should a Soil Be Tested?
A soil test should be conducted if fertilizer is going to be applied or when problems occur during the growing season. Once every year is recommended when nitrogen fertilizer is applied, and at least once every three years if P and K are concerned.
- When Is the Best Time to Take Soil Samples?
Soil samples can be taken any time throughout the year for checking pH, phosphorus and potassium status. Collect soil samples 1-2 months before planting. Early spring is a good time to take soil samples for summer crops, and summer is a good time to sample for fall and winter crops. This allows time for lime recommended to react and change the pH before the crop is planted. To assess soil available nitrogen, sample as close to planting as possible. For Lawns, the late spring (May) is a good time sample for warm season grass and the summer (mid-Aug) is good for cool-season grasses.
- What Tools and Supplies Are Needed to Take a Soil Sample?
A clean plastic bucket, a soil probe or a shovel are needed. Soil probes may be borrowed from the McClain County OSU Extension Office.
- How Should a Soil Sample Be Taken?
Collect a core with a probe, or a slice with a shovel, of soil from the surface to 6 inches deep from 15-20 random locations across the sampling area. Mix the samples together in a clean plastic bucket. Put 2 cups of the mix into a clean container and label. Example: FRONT, BACK, SIDE of the house. For most garden areas one sample/plot should be adequate. When you return the sample to the Extension Office specify the crop you wish to grow and the yield goal (lawn, garden and legume crops do not need yield goal).
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