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Proper management is key to healthy pastures and successful harvests. CFC Farm & Home Center can help you achieve your agronomic goals. Our field representatives can help you develop a plan for managing your crops and forages as well as controlling weeds. We have several options for application and weed control and can work with you to develop a fertilizer application to match your operation's needs. Check out our Tip Sheet archives for timely advice and information and, as always, let us know how we can help!

December 2021

With all of the supply chain issues we continue to hear about in just about every aspect of our lives, farming is no different. Fertilizer and crop protection chemicals are also being affected by many different forces. Planning ahead is going to be a key for success in 2022. As we wrap up harvest we need to be thinking about next year. What crops are you going to plant next season? Having a backup plan for your herbicide program may be key as certain products will be in short supply. Your CFC field sales team can help you come up with a plan and a backup or two to make sure you are not scrambling at the last minute. Contact us today and we can discuss options and strategies to have a successful 2022 in spite of all of the new challenges we are facing.

November 2021

As we head into November, harvest is in full swing and hay season has wrapped up. Now is a great time to think about soil sampling your fields. As fertilizer prices continue to skyrocket soil sampling is even more important. You don’t want to guess at what your fields may need to give you good production. Your CFC team can help you analyze the results and come up with an effective plan to give you the best results for your money.

October 2021

As we head into fall, it is a good time to think about fertilizer for your hayfields and crop land. Applying phosphorous and potash in the fall has several benefits. On hayfields, phosphorous and potash aid in root development to help your grasses survive the winter and thrive as temperatures warm in the spring. Another benefit of a fall application is that it gives the products time to break down in the soil so that more of the nutrients are plant-available in the spring. This applies to hay, pasture and row crops. Applying fertilizer in the fall can also help to reduce the workload in the spring when time and weather can limit what gets done.

September 2021

With the dry summer weather we have experienced, many people are facing hay and forage shortages for the winter. One option for fall forage is planting a winter annual such as oats. Oats planted in early fall can provide a great source of forage before winter. This can be grazed, chopped or made into baleage. Fall rain is key to making this work. The other key is fertility – feeding this fall crop will give you maximum production. You can also look to mix oats with triticale and annual ryegrass. This will give you a fall cutting of oats and a spring cutting of triticale and ryegrass. Speak to a CFC representative for tips on how to make this work on your farm.

August 2021

Even though we are still in the heat of summer, now is a great time to prepare for feeding your cattle this winter. Stockpiling fescue is a great way to provide high quality feed for your cattle in the winter months and save on your hay consumption. Stockpiling is promoting growth of your grasses during the fall months and then allowing the cattle to graze after frost. Studies have shown that stockpiled fescue grazed in the winter can have up to 36% more protein and 23% more energy than the average fescue hay in Virginia. Fescue also holds its quality deep into the winter months. Frost makes the fescue much more palatable to cattle and reduces the endophyte toxicity that we deal with during the summer months.

The first step for success is to remove cattle from the pastures you want to stockpile around the beginning of August. If it is a hayfield, you want to have your last cutting made by this time. Next, apply 40-60 lbs of nitrogen. You can also apply phosphorous and potash at this time if your soil needs it. Using a nitrogen stabilizer will help keep the nitrogen in the root zone of the grass. As temperatures start to moderate and we see more moisture, your grass will take off. When it is time to graze think about controlled grazing to get the most out of your forage.

July 2021

As we head into the heat of the summer how are your pastures looking? Are weeds taking over? Is your grass stand fading away? Summer is a great time to evaluate your pastures and hayfields so that you are ready to take action when the timing is right. It may be time for new soil samples so you can get a fertility plan for fall. Perhaps your fields need overseeding or a full renovation. Now is the time to be thinking about a plan as seeding and fertilizing for fall growth will need to happen in mid- to late August to be the most effective.

What about weed control? Summer annual weeds can be controlled in July if they are in the right growth stage. Pigweed and perilla mint are two of the more common weeds we deal with. Mowing before they go to seed is very important but if the infestation is bad enough, spraying may be necessary.  Your CFC team can help you evaluate your pastures and hayfields to come up with a plan. We can help identify your problem weeds and evaluate steps to improve your forage production. Give your territory sales manager a call today.

June 2021

As we head into summer it is a good time to prepare for the weeds we will face in our pastures and hayfields. Cool season weeds such as chickweed and buttercups are fading away, but warm season weeds are starting to appear. Annuals such as pigweed and ragweed are off to a good start. Other problem weeds include perilla mint and horsenettle. If these weeds are causing major problems in your pastures or hayfields it may be time to take steps to control the issue.

Mowing to prevent these weeds from going to seed and increasing their population is an important part of pasture management. If weeds are causing reduced pasture productivity it may be time for an herbicide application. The first step is to properly identify the weeds that are present. Once you know what weeds are present, you can choose the correct herbicide and properly time your application. Proper timing allows for the most effective use of herbicides.

Your CFC territory manager can help you determine the proper steps to help control weeds. We can help you identify problem weeds and find the most effective ways to promote your grasses. If an herbicide application is needed, we can determine the proper timing and product for effective results that will improve your fields.

May 2021

As we look forward to the warm weather ahead, it is important to make the most of our summer forages. Summer annuals are a great way to improve summer grazing or provide a large amount of hay or baleage for winter feeding. Growing a summer annual is also a great way to help get weeds under control in worn out hayfields or pastures you want to reseed this fall.

Pearl millet, sorghum-sudangrass, and sudangrass work great in our area during the summer. Each can be used for baleage or grazing. Sudan and sorghum-sudan typically give the highest tonnage over 2-3 cuttings during the season. Millet can be made as dry hay if you have a dry window to make it. Grazing is also an option, but prussic acid can be an issue with sorghum-sudangrass. BMR varieties are available which provide the most digestible forage for your livestock.

There are a few keys to success if you are planning to use summer annuals. Make sure soils are warm. Soils need to be 60 degrees and warming. Mid to late May is usually the right time for our area.  Seeding depth is very important; make sure your drill is set properly for your particular variety. Fertility is also important; follow your soil test recommendations and provide plenty of nitrogen. A nitrogen application at planting and between cuttings will help you achieve the highest yields.

Speak to a CFC representative to help in selecting the best variety for your operation. We can help you plan for success with your summer annual crop.

 

April 2021

As we head into April it is time to start thinking about planting soybeans. Planting dates can range from early April through late May for full-season beans. Double-crop beans go in the ground from late June through early July. No matter when you plant, weed control is critical.

One important step in good, season-long weed control is using a residual herbicide. This can either be done pre-plant or a residual can be added in a post-emergent application. This will help keep new weeds from germinating longer into the season, allowing the soybean crop to reach full canopy and shade out small weeds. As we start to see more weeds with Roundup resistance, such as marestail and palmer pigweed, a multilevel approach to weed control becomes more important.

Products such as Zidua PRO, Outlook and Verdict are some examples of herbicides with residual activity that have worked well to help control weeds in soybeans. Good residual control can allow you to make a later post-herbicide application to carry you through the season. Remember to scout your fields and spray for weeds when they are small for the best control. Get in touch with your CFC territory manager for advice on a weed control program that will work for your farm.

March 2021

As we finally head into spring, now is a good time to think about reseeding damaged pastures and worn-out hayfields. First, let’s look at pastures. Do you have large areas that are damaged from feeding and high animal traffic over the winter? As the ground dries out in March it is a great time to overseed.  Fescue, grazing-type orchardgrass or one of our pasture mixes may be a great fit to give new life to these areas. Seed can be broadcast and worked in with light tillage or a pasture drag, which will also help smooth the rough areas. Be sure to remove animals to give the new grass a chance to establish itself. Consider mixing in a spring forage oat or CFC’s pea/oat mix to help provide cover and high-quality forage for your animals and protect the new grass seedlings from overgrazing.

For those hayfields that have thinning grass stands, there are a few options. You can overseed this spring to help thicken the stand or it may be time to completely reseed this year. Fall is the best time to reseed, but you can set yourself up for success now. Consider a spring crop of oats or pea/oat mix followed by a summer annual such as millet or sorghum-sudangrass before reseeding in early fall. This rotation of annuals will provide lots of quality forage and help to choke out any weed infestations before investing in reseeding.

Speak to your local field representative or store to find the right seed for you and to make a plan for improving your pastures and hayfields.

February 2021

February is a great time to improve pastures and hayfields by frost seeding clover. Frost seeding is simply broadcasting seed onto the ground and allowing the freezing and thawing action from the warmer days and cold nights to work the seed into the ground. This creates seed-to-soil contact and allows for germination. The moisture and warming temperatures of late February and early March allows the young clover to grow. Clover can help to thicken thinning grass stands, improve protein content and provide nitrogen for the grasses. Just like any other type of planting, you need to make sure your fertility is in good shape to promote successful growth. Make sure your grass is grazed down or mowed to allow for the seed to reach the soil.   

Red clover, white clover and ladino all work well for frost seeding. Red clover is shorter lived but will tolerate lower fertility better than white or ladino.

Seed red clover at 6-10 lbs./acre and white or ladino at 2-5 lbs. These low rates allow for a small ATV spreader or tractor cyclone spreader to do the job. Make sure not to overgraze your pastures in early spring so the young clover can establish itself. Come into your CFC store or talk to your field representative for specific varieties of clover that will work best on your farm.

January 2021

Here we are in the middle of winter, but now is a great time to start planning for spring. Is one of your goals for 2021 to increase production from your pasture and hayfields? If weeds were a problem for you in 2020, a good weed control program could help you get more out of your forages. Warm season annual grasses seem to be becoming more of an issue in our area. Crabgrass, foxtail and jointhead arthraxon are weeds that seem to be taking over certain areas of our pastures and hayfields during the summer months. These grasses germinate and begin growing in late March through early May. We usually notice them in June and July when they start to get ahead of our cool season grasses.

The best time to control these weeds is early spring before they germinate. A well-timed application of Prowl herbicide does a great job in controlling these weeds. Our field staff can help you determine the best time and rate of application based on which weeds were in your fields last year. Prowl herbicide can be sprayed or applied with dry fertilizer.

Contact one of our field staff so that we can evaluate your fields and get you on our schedule for spring.

December 2020

Late fall and winter provide a good opportunity for control of certain weeds in crop fields and pastures. In crops, marestail, along with winter annuals such as chickweed, henbit and purple deadnettle, germinate in the fall. This is a good opportunity for control because the weeds are small and haven’t developed a good root system yet. Think about the fields where you saw weed issues in 2020. Chances are those weeds are there again now. A late fall or early spring herbicide application can help you have a clean field to start 2021. Using an herbicide with a long residual can help reduce the spring workload and allow for earlier planting.

The same concept applies to pastures. If you had pastures with weed problems last spring, you will probably see them again in 2021 if they were not addressed. Buttercups are a great example. When the sea of yellow appears in the spring, it is too late for control measures. Many buttercups germinate in the fall and overwinter as a rosette before taking off and taking over pastures in spring. An application of Duracor herbicide will provide great control and give your grasses a chance to flourish. Duracor can be sprayed or applied mixed with dry fertilizer by CFC. This weed and feed program can be a huge benefit to your pastures.

For any questions or help scouting your fields, contact your CFC field sales representative or local store.

November 2020

As we head into November, we are wrapping up the 2020 growing season and harvest. As we are finishing up this year and hopefully getting some much-deserved rest, we need to start thinking about 2021. Late fall is a good time to make sure you are up to date on soil samples for hay, pasture and crop fields. It is also a great time to apply lime if your fields need it.

Now is also a great time to apply phosphorous and potash. Getting it out early helps increase availability to your crops in spring. You can also take advantage of lower fall fertilizer prices to help stretch your budget. Ask about our fertilizer prepay program to give you discounts on your spring fertilizer.

For help with your winter to-do list, talk to your field sales representative or call your local store.

October 2020

As we head deeper into fall it is a good time to look back at what worked and didn’t work in 2020. One thing to consider is our pastures. How can we get more out of our pastures in 2021?

Fall fertilization and weed control is a good place to start. Fertilization helps boost root development and tiller formation going into winter. This will allow your grass stands to thicken and increase root energy stores for winter and be ready to take off when spring rolls around.

Fall weed control also can be very beneficial. Perennial and biennial weeds such as thistles can be successfully controlled with fall herbicide applications. Buttercups are another weed that can be controlled in fall. Long before we see the sea of yellow in spring, buttercups are popping up and getting established in fall. Duracor provides great control of buttercups when applied late fall or early spring. Once you see the yellow flowers it is too late to spray successfully.

Finding ways to improve our grazing rotation is important too. We need to move cattle and leave plenty of stubble and allow our pastures to rest and recover as much as possible between rotations. This will allow our grasses to grow back quickly and help crowd out weeds.

For help with fall fertilizer applications and weed control, talk to your field sales representative or call your local store.

September 2020

Now is a great time to think about pasture and hay weed control. Fall herbicide applications are very effective in controlling a wide range of tough perennial broadleaf weeds. Your fall forage production can get a real boost from the reduced weed pressure.

Don’t forget about fall fertilizer for your hay and pasture ground. This is a great time to boost that last cutting of hay or stockpile fescue for fall grazing. Remember you are also feeding those roots to get ready for winter.

Talk to one of our field representatives about how to get the most out of your forages this fall.

August 2020

Now is the time to start booking rye, wheat, barley and triticale for your cover crop, forage and small grain needs.

August is a great time to fertilize your pastures to promote fall grazing and increase your late season forage.

Thinking about reseeding pastures or hayfields? Late summer is the best time for seeding cool season grasses. Talk to your CFC field representative or come into one of our stores for help selecting the right product for your operation. Let us help you have a successful season!

April 2021

As we head into April it is time to start thinking about planting soybeans. Planting dates can range from early April through late May for full-season beans. Double-crop beans go in the ground from late June through early July. No matter when you plant, weed control is critical.

One important step in good, season-long weed control is using a residual herbicide. This can either be done pre-plant or a residual can be added in a post-emergent application. This will help keep new weeds from germinating longer into the season, allowing the soybean crop to reach full canopy and shade out small weeds. As we start to see more weeds with Roundup resistance, such as marestail and palmer pigweed, a multilevel approach to weed control becomes more important.

Products such as Zidua PRO, Outlook and Verdict are some examples of herbicides with residual activity that have worked well to help control weeds in soybeans. Good residual control can allow you to make a later post-herbicide application to carry you through the season. Remember to scout your fields and spray for weeds when they are small for the best control. Get in touch with your CFC territory manager for advice on a weed control program that will work for your farm.

March 2021

As we finally head into spring, now is a good time to think about reseeding damaged pastures and worn-out hayfields. First, let’s look at pastures. Do you have large areas that are damaged from feeding and high animal traffic over the winter? As the ground dries out in March it is a great time to overseed.  Fescue, grazing-type orchardgrass or one of our pasture mixes may be a great fit to give new life to these areas. Seed can be broadcast and worked in with light tillage or a pasture drag, which will also help smooth the rough areas. Be sure to remove animals to give the new grass a chance to establish itself. Consider mixing in a spring forage oat or CFC’s pea/oat mix to help provide cover and high-quality forage for your animals and protect the new grass seedlings from overgrazing.

For those hayfields that have thinning grass stands, there are a few options. You can overseed this spring to help thicken the stand or it may be time to completely reseed this year. Fall is the best time to reseed, but you can set yourself up for success now. Consider a spring crop of oats or pea/oat mix followed by a summer annual such as millet or sorghum-sudangrass before reseeding in early fall. This rotation of annuals will provide lots of quality forage and help to choke out any weed infestations before investing in reseeding.

Speak to your local field representative or store to find the right seed for you and to make a plan for improving your pastures and hayfields.

February 2021

February is a great time to improve pastures and hayfields by frost seeding clover. Frost seeding is simply broadcasting seed onto the ground and allowing the freezing and thawing action from the warmer days and cold nights to work the seed into the ground. This creates seed-to-soil contact and allows for germination. The moisture and warming temperatures of late February and early March allows the young clover to grow. Clover can help to thicken thinning grass stands, improve protein content and provide nitrogen for the grasses. Just like any other type of planting, you need to make sure your fertility is in good shape to promote successful growth. Make sure your grass is grazed down or mowed to allow for the seed to reach the soil.   

Red clover, white clover and ladino all work well for frost seeding. Red clover is shorter lived but will tolerate lower fertility better than white or ladino.

Seed red clover at 6-10 lbs./acre and white or ladino at 2-5 lbs. These low rates allow for a small ATV spreader or tractor cyclone spreader to do the job. Make sure not to overgraze your pastures in early spring so the young clover can establish itself. Come into your CFC store or talk to your field representative for specific varieties of clover that will work best on your farm.

January 2021

Here we are in the middle of winter, but now is a great time to start planning for spring. Is one of your goals for 2021 to increase production from your pasture and hayfields? If weeds were a problem for you in 2020, a good weed control program could help you get more out of your forages. Warm season annual grasses seem to be becoming more of an issue in our area. Crabgrass, foxtail and jointhead arthraxon are weeds that seem to be taking over certain areas of our pastures and hayfields during the summer months. These grasses germinate and begin growing in late March through early May. We usually notice them in June and July when they start to get ahead of our cool season grasses.

The best time to control these weeds is early spring before they germinate. A well-timed application of Prowl herbicide does a great job in controlling these weeds. Our field staff can help you determine the best time and rate of application based on which weeds were in your fields last year. Prowl herbicide can be sprayed or applied with dry fertilizer.

Contact one of our field staff so that we can evaluate your fields and get you on our schedule for spring.

December 2020

Late fall and winter provide a good opportunity for control of certain weeds in crop fields and pastures. In crops, marestail, along with winter annuals such as chickweed, henbit and purple deadnettle, germinate in the fall. This is a good opportunity for control because the weeds are small and haven’t developed a good root system yet. Think about the fields where you saw weed issues in 2020. Chances are those weeds are there again now. A late fall or early spring herbicide application can help you have a clean field to start 2021. Using an herbicide with a long residual can help reduce the spring workload and allow for earlier planting.

The same concept applies to pastures. If you had pastures with weed problems last spring, you will probably see them again in 2021 if they were not addressed. Buttercups are a great example. When the sea of yellow appears in the spring, it is too late for control measures. Many buttercups germinate in the fall and overwinter as a rosette before taking off and taking over pastures in spring. An application of Duracor herbicide will provide great control and give your grasses a chance to flourish. Duracor can be sprayed or applied mixed with dry fertilizer by CFC. This weed and feed program can be a huge benefit to your pastures.

For any questions or help scouting your fields, contact your CFC field sales representative or local store.

November 2020

As we head into November, we are wrapping up the 2020 growing season and harvest. As we are finishing up this year and hopefully getting some much-deserved rest, we need to start thinking about 2021. Late fall is a good time to make sure you are up to date on soil samples for hay, pasture and crop fields. It is also a great time to apply lime if your fields need it.

Now is also a great time to apply phosphorous and potash. Getting it out early helps increase availability to your crops in spring. You can also take advantage of lower fall fertilizer prices to help stretch your budget. Ask about our fertilizer prepay program to give you discounts on your spring fertilizer.

For help with your winter to-do list, talk to your field sales representative or call your local store.

October 2020

As we head deeper into fall it is a good time to look back at what worked and didn’t work in 2020. One thing to consider is our pastures. How can we get more out of our pastures in 2021?

Fall fertilization and weed control is a good place to start. Fertilization helps boost root development and tiller formation going into winter. This will allow your grass stands to thicken and increase root energy stores for winter and be ready to take off when spring rolls around.

Fall weed control also can be very beneficial. Perennial and biennial weeds such as thistles can be successfully controlled with fall herbicide applications. Buttercups are another weed that can be controlled in fall. Long before we see the sea of yellow in spring, buttercups are popping up and getting established in fall. Duracor provides great control of buttercups when applied late fall or early spring. Once you see the yellow flowers it is too late to spray successfully.

Finding ways to improve our grazing rotation is important too. We need to move cattle and leave plenty of stubble and allow our pastures to rest and recover as much as possible between rotations. This will allow our grasses to grow back quickly and help crowd out weeds.

For help with fall fertilizer applications and weed control, talk to your field sales representative or call your local store.

September 2020

Now is a great time to think about pasture and hay weed control. Fall herbicide applications are very effective in controlling a wide range of tough perennial broadleaf weeds. Your fall forage production can get a real boost from the reduced weed pressure.

Don’t forget about fall fertilizer for your hay and pasture ground. This is a great time to boost that last cutting of hay or stockpile fescue for fall grazing. Remember you are also feeding those roots to get ready for winter.

Talk to one of our field representatives about how to get the most out of your forages this fall.

August 2020

Agronomy Tips

Now is the time to start booking rye, wheat, barley and triticale for your cover crop, forage and small grain needs.

August is a great time to fertilize your pastures to promote fall grazing and increase your late season forage.

Thinking about reseeding pastures or hayfields? Late summer is the best time for seeding cool season grasses. Talk to your CFC field representative or come into one of our stores for help selecting the right product for your operation. Let us help you have a successful season!