Cattle producers are well aware that to grow beef, one has to grow grass. But last year’s drought followed by above normal rainfall this winter will bring special weed problems this year, according to Texas AgriLife Extension Service personnel.

To help meet those challenges, AgriLife Extension in Nueces and San Patricio counties will host the Coastal Bend Pasture Symposium at 8:30 a.m. March 12 at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center, 10345 State Highway 44, just west of the Corpus Christi International Airport, according to Jeffrey Stapper, an AgriLife Extension agent in Nueces County.

“Pastures have taken a beating, so folks will soon be looking to renovate their pastures and in some cases plant new grasses,” Stapper said. “This symposium will bring together experts who will share invaluable information and answer questions pertaining to the rejuvenation of pastures.”

Many will be facing a dense stand of unwanted weeds as nature responds to fill areas left barren by last year’s drought, he said.

“With all the rains of this past fall and winter, and as temperatures warm, both grasses and weeds will respond very favorably this spring and in some cases we’ll see major problems with weeds,” Stapper said. Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. and costs $10, including lunch.

Morning topics will include establishing improved pastures, adapted forage varieties, forage nutrient management, pasture weed identification and control, managing pastures with prescribed burns, and information about the Coastal Bend Prescribed Burn Association, Stapper said.

Afternoon topics will include stocking rate determination to maintain forage stands and water quality, producing quality hay, native versus improved pastures, managing forage insects, and risk management options.

Forage expert speakers will include Dr. Jamie Foster, an assistant professor of forage agronomy with Texas AgriLife Research; Dr. Vanessa Corriher, AgriLife Extension forage specialist; Dr. Lynn Drawe, president of the Texas Prescribed Burn board; Dr. Bob Lyons, AgriLife Extension range specialist; Dr. Roy Parker, AgriLife Extension entomologist; and Dr. Larry Falconer, AgriLife Extension economist.

Pesticide applicators will be awarded 5.25 continuing education units, while certified crop advisors will be awarded 6 CEUs.

To assist with program planning, participants are asked to pre-register before March 8 by calling 361-767-5223, Stapper said.