Weed Management in Pastures Webinar

Join Dr. Mark VanGessel, University of Delaware Extension Weed Specialist for another program in our Webinar Wednesday forage series. Managing weeds in pasture is a common question among horse owners and livestock producers. In this webinar you will learn about these plants we call weeds; why they are a concern for many owners and producers and what strategies you can use to control them. We will discuss both cultural and chemical methods for weed control and also briefly touch on the topic of toxic weeds.

To register:  https://www.pcsreg.com/weed-management-in-pastures

Sponsored by Delaware Cooperative Extension, a joint effort between Delaware State University and the University of Delaware.

This program is brought to you by University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, a service of the UD College of Agriculture and Natural Resources – a land-grant institution.  This institution is an equal opportunity provider.  If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact us.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Virtual Event  

Episode 6: A fair to remember (Your guide to the 2020 Delaware State Fair)

Episode 6: A fair to remember (Your guide to the 2020 Delaware State Fair)

The 2020 State Fair begins this Thursday, July 23rd, and we have the latest inside information for you! Today’s special guest, Doug Crouse, is not only UD Extension’s State Program Leader for 4-H, but also an executive board member and the treasurer of the Delaware State Fair.

What changes will you see at the state fair this year and how has the pandemic affected 4-H, FFA and other participants? Listen to find out!


Forage Directory Available

Maryland/Delaware Forage Directory

Jarrod O. Miller, Extension Agronomist, jarrod@udel.eduDan Severson, Agriculture Agent, New Castle County, severson@udel.edu


To assist in the hay and forage market, the Maryland Delaware Forage Council (MDFC) has setup an online forage directory for buyers and sellers of hay (https://www.foragecouncil.com/hay). This directory is available to the public to browse, but hay producers must be a member of the MDFC to post hay for sale.


The directory is separated by the Delmarva, Central, and Western Maryland regions to help those in search of hay. Any forage producer may list their hay by type (grass/legume/mixed) or bale size (large/square/other) and include any other information they would like the public to know.


If you would like to post hay for sale on the MDFC page (https://www.foragecouncil.com/), membership can be done by mail or online and is only $25 per year for individual or business memberships.

Multi-Species Grazing

IPM in Sheep and Goats: FAMACHA© Certification From Home

Internal parasites are a major health problem affecting sheep and goats, particularly the blood sucking abomasal parasite, Haemonchus contortus(barber pole worm). This parasite is a major threat because once in the abomasum of the animal, it consumes large amounts of blood causing sickness and death that can hinder production. In addition, this parasite is very difficult to manage. There is data showing that this parasite has shown resistance to all available dewormers in United States and across the world. Local data has demonstrated that there is a high level of resistance to the benzimidazole classes (white drenches) of dewormers and ivermectin in Delaware and surrounding states. Therefore, a more integrated approach is needed to control this parasite.  Deworming by the calendar and rotating classes of dewormers are no longer recommended for sheep and goats. Furthermore these out of date management practices are ineffective and contribute to internal parasite resistance issues.

Fecal Egg Counting and FAMACHA© workshop | Delaware State UniversityThe Delaware Cooperative Extension Small Ruminant Team is holding a FAMACHA© certification workshop via Zoom on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 from 6:00 pm-8:00 pm.  The cost of the workshop is $15.00 to pay for the FAMACHA© cards and the postage to mail them to producers. Registration is required.

This upcoming workshop is designed to help producers learn the basics of selective internal parasite control and covers topics such as types and kinds of parasites, dewormers, the role of pasture management, the 5 Point Check©, FAMACHA© and FEC. Join us as we provide training to certify producers in the use of FAMACHA© score card and an integrated approach to parasite control in small ruminants.

To register visit: https://www.pcsreg.com/learn-integrated-parasite-control-and-get-certified-in-famacha Once registered you will receive an email link to access the Zoom training.  After completing the webinar, producers will be required to pass a short web based quiz and submit a short video clip demonstrating their proficiency in the FAMCHA© push-pull-pop eyelid technique in order to complete their certification requirements.  For questions please contact a member of the Delaware Cooperative Extension Small Ruminant Team- Susan Garey truehart@udel.edu , Dr. Kwame Matthews, PhD kmatthews@desu.edu or Dan Severson severson@udel.edu

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. If you have special needs that need to be accommodated, please contact the office two weeks prior to the event.

Reading and Understanding Seed Labels (Tags)

Reading and Understanding Seed Labels (Tags)

Dan Severson, New Castle Co. Ag Agent; severson@udel.edu

Quality of seed can vary greatly. The key to getting the best quality seed is to read and understand the information on the seed tag. Seed laws require that each lot is labeled to prevent misrepresentation of seeds offered for sale. This applies to a single species or a mixture, certified or non-certified seeds. Understanding the seed label will allow proper decision making when planning and installing a seeding.

The Federal Seed Act (https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/fsa) and the Delaware State Seed law Title 3 Chapter 15 (http://delcode.delaware.gov/title3/c015/index.shtml) specify the information required on the seed tag (see example seed tag on page 3). Seed tags are issued by the official seed certifying agency for each state. The Seed Laboratory of Delaware Department of Agriculture is the official seed certifying agency for the state of Delaware. All state certification agencies comply with the minimum requirements and standards of the Association of Official Seed Certification Agencies (AOSCA) (https://www.aosca.org/) to insure uniform testing methods and minimum standards of seed quality. Seed labels may vary from state to state, but all labels will have some semblance uniformity since the Federal Seed Act requires some information for interstate commerce.

Components of the seed label

  • Type and Variety – Cultivar/release name, species, and common name;
  • Lot number – a series of letters or numbers assigned by the grower for tracking purposes;
  • Origin – where the seeds were grown;
  • Net weight – how much material is in the container;
  • Percent pure seed (purity) – how much of the material is actually the desired seed;
  • Percent inert matter – how much of the material in the bag is plant debris or other materials that are not seed;
  • Percent other crop seeds – other non-weed seeds;
  • Percent weed seeds – seeds considered weed species;
  • Percent germination (germ) – how much of the seed will germinate readily;
  • Hard seed – seed which does not germinate readily because of a hard seed coat;
  • Dormant seed – seed which does not germinate readily because it requires a pre-treatment or weathering in the soil (Some suppliers may combine hard and dormant seed on the label.);
  • Germination test date – date should be within 12 months of the planned date for using the seed;

The date for how long the seed can be sold varies from state and type of seed. Delaware’s current time is 14 months, excluding the test date (total of 15). Most small packs of vegetable and flower seeds are marked packed for year 20?? They can only be sold for that year.

  • Name and address of company responsible for analysis (seller or grower).
  • Name of restricted noxious weed seeds (with number per pound of seed);

There are 2 types of noxious weed seeds – restricted and prohibited. Restricted weed seeds are listed as seeds per pound of material in the bag. There should be no prohibited weed seeds.

The restricted weed seeds for Delaware are dodder, bindweed, wild onion, wild garlic, corn cockle, horse nettle, cheat or chess, annual bluegrass and giant foxtail.

The prohibited list of weed seeds for Delaware are Canada thistle, quack grass and johnsongrass.

The prohibited and restricted noxious weed seed for Delaware are not the same as the Noxious Weeds list. Delaware currently has six noxious weeds: johnsongrass, Canada thistle, burcucumber, giant ragweed, Texas panicum and Palmer amaranth. https://agriculture.delaware.gov/plant-industries/noxious-weeds/

You may also see the following additional information on the label:

  • Total Viability/Germination – this may or may not be stated. Total viability = Germination + Hard Seed + Dormant Seed. Total Viability may not equal 100%. This just means that some of the seed is not viable and will not germinate.

A typical seed label:

example seed tag

In addition to the seed analysis label, there may be a second label indicating the certification class of seed. The most typical second label would be blue and would indicate it as CERTIFIED SEED. Certified seed is the progeny of seed that has been handled to maintain genetic identity and purity and has been approved by a state certifying agency. Certified seed should be the first choice for any seeding project, especially when cultivars are used.

Using the Seed Label

  • The total of Pure Seed, Other Crop, Inert Matter and Weed Seed should always equal 100%.
  • If the purity or germination is very low, you may not want to use the seed.
  • If there are noxious weed seeds, you should know what they are and whether they will be a problem on your planting site. You may not want to use this seed source because doing so risks introducing a problem.
  • Always purchase and use seed based on Pure Live Seed (PLS). PLS is the amount of seed which will germinate and can be calculated using numbers from the seed label.

First, determine total viability

Viability = germination + hard seed + dormant seed

Viability is the percent of seed which will germinate, though it may not all germinate the first season. In our example, total viability = 93.00%.

Next, calculate the amount of Pure Live Seed (PLS)

PLS = (% Purity x %Viability)/100

In our example: PLS = (93.8 x 93)/100 = 87.23%

PLS can be used for calculating the amount of seed you will need to buy for a planting or when calibrating the output of a drill.

Bulk seed/acre = (lbs. PLS recommended/acre)/Percent PLS

If we want to seed 10 acres at 8 lbs. PLS/acre., then

(8 lbs. PLS/acre)/ 87.23% = 9.17 lbs. bulk/acre x 10 acres = 91.7 lbs. bulk seed needed .8723 PLS

Most native plant seed is sold on a PLS basis because germination and purity can be so variable. Always specify buying seed by the PLS pound to make sure you get the amount of seed you need. For example, percent germination rate of legumes is often lower than percent germination of grass species. Some of the cool-season turf-type grasses (fescues, orchard grass) and agronomic seed (oats, rye) are sold on the basis of bulk pounds only because germination and purity are typically very high and minimums are regulated by the Federal Seed Act.

The cheapest bag of seed is not always the best purchase. By understanding the information on the seed tag you can determine the quality of seed you are purchasing. By comparing the purity and percent germination you will be able to decide which bag of seed will produce a more successful, uniform and weed free stand.

Restricted and prohibited weeds vary by state and no seed can be sold if it contains prohibited weeds. Seed that is moved across state lines must meet the most restrictive state’s requirements. By monitoring the weed species in the lot, you can control what weeds are seeded in a planting.

Always order your seed as PLS seeding rate. Purity and germination percentages found on the seed tag determine Pure Live Seed (all seeding recommendations are given in Pure Live Seed rates) from which the bulk-seeding rate is calculated.

Englert, J.M. 2007. A Simplified Guide to Understanding Seed Labels. Maryland Plant Materials Technical Note No. 2. USDA-NRCS National Plant Materials Center, Beltsville, MD. 3p.

Kaiser, J. 2010. Reading Seed Packaging Labels (Seed Tags). Agronomy Technical Note – MO-38. Elsberry, MO.