Summer Forage and Seeding Options

Matt Robson News

Forage Mixtures

Plant in late summer, for fall 2019 harvest, which will produce good to very good yield potential. **NEW** ProfitMAX is a new mixture SEEDWAY is offering consisting of a Forage Oat and Survivor Winter Peas. Survivor Winter Peas has more winter hardiness than Austrian Winter Pea so it will grow longer into the season for increased yields and nitrogen fixation. ProfitMAX can be planted in late July or early August for a fall forage crop. ProfitMAX can be very productive as small grains grow very aggressively in the fall. Harvest in approximately 60 days. Underseeding with grass seed is not advised in summer plantings. Mixture should be sown at 125-150#/acre.

Summer Annuals / Sorghums / Sudangrass

Plant in late spring to early summer for fall 2019 harvest which will product very good to excellent yield potential. Forage sorghum, sorghum-sudan hybrids and sudangrass can all be planted for forage well into July. Forage Sorghums are single cut sorghums with high yield potential and high palatability with some having the BMR6 and dry stalk traits. Forage Sorghums have excellent seedling vigor and drought tolerance. Sorghum sudangrass hybrids can be harvested two times and can have the BMR6 gene for high quality as well as the dry stalk gene. This helps to get the crop dry faster and out of the field for more timely harvest. Sorghum sudangrass is highly palatable, and quick regrowth after cutting. Planting at higher populations per acre will result in finer stemmed forage for even faster drying. SSG 886 BMR6 hybrid sudangrass is a multi-cut species that exhibits finer stalks with the BMR6 and dry stalk traits. Expect very quick regrowth and exceptional forage yield.

**At time of printing, SEEDWAY and the industry have limited supplies of Sorghum, Sorghum Sudan and the Hybrids due to a poor seed harvest in 2018 and increased sales earlier in 2019** Prussic acid poisoning potential can be a problem in sorghum and sorghum-sudan hybrids with droughted and freshly frosted forage. This can be managed by ensiling the crop for six weeks or keeping freshly frosted forage away from livestock for one week following frost.

Perennial Legumes & Grasses

Summer seeding – July 15 to no later than September 30(South), for spring 2019 harvest. Alfalfa and grass seedings can be made when there is enough moisture to enable stand establishment. Summer alfalfa seedings should be done in time to allow enough growth for adequate winter survival. Caution! Be aware of potential herbicide residual when selecting fields for summer seeding

Annual & Italian Ryegrass

Planting mid-summer through September, for fall 2019 and spring 2020 harvest, will give adequate yield potential. Ryegrasses have outstanding forage quality for pasturing and limited hay in straight stands. In mild winter areas, annual ryegrass can be planted with some forage produced in fall and another crop in spring. Caution should be in place to not let the annual ryegrass head out. If heading begins, clip the stalk/heads before a cutting or grazing to maximize forage quality and yield. Italian ryegrasses are more winter hardy and can be planted earlier in the season with no to minimal heading out. A cutting or grazing can occur in the Fall of 2019 and then a second cutting or grazing should occur early in the spring of 2020 before the stand is terminated before heading out. SEEDWAY has good availability of annual ryegrass varieties and the Italian Ryegrass varieties supply is getting limited.

Japanese Millet

Plant in late spring / early summer for fall 2019 harvest, fair yield potential. Best for poorly drained and lower pH soils. Good for cool areas at high elevation and in the north. Utilize for grazing or silage or it can usually be cut and baled as hay for heifer/beef feed in most seasons. SEEDWAY has good availability of Japanese Millet.

Pearl Millet

Plant in late spring to early summer for a fall 2019 harvest to get a good yield. Pearl Millets are bushy type hybrids with high yield potentials. Widely adapted to diverse geographic regions. No prussic acid concerns. 63 days to boot stage. Forage produced is virtually all leaves which give high levels of crude protein concentrations and good overall forage quality. Currently SEEDWAY has two varieties to offer with availability getting tight.

Triticale and Cereal Rye

Plant August-September, for spring 2019 harvest for good to very good yield potential. Triticale is a cross between wheat and cereal rye. The advantage of this cross is that it will produce high yields and forage quality, but also meets most cover crop requirements. Triticale produces more milk per acre compared to rye and matures later than cereal rye, giving the grower an added window for spring harvest before the quality drops off. Triticale has all the benefits (late planting, scavenger of nutrients) of rye except, higher tonnage and better forage quality. By applying nitrogen in the spring will increase tonnage. SEEDWAY is proud to market two of the leading triticale’s in the market. Trical 336 Blend and HyOctane all having a higher leaf to steam ratio compared to Fridge (Fridge is closer to rye than wheat).

Cereal rye is the most winter hardy of all cereal crops and is most commonly planted in a corn/soybean rotation or before a soybean crop the following season. Cereal rye can be grazed in the late fall to early spring. The following spring, cereal rye will have a quick regrowth that will produce good tonnage for a spring harvest. Residue after harvest gives off allelopathic chemicals up to a month after termination, which aids in preventing small seeded weeds and grasses from germinating. SEEDWAY not only offers VNS Rye, we strive to bring to market improved genetics to increase yield and quality. Grazemaster Brand Rye is a new rye that we test marketed in Virginia and Pennsylvania and have had great success. Grazemaster Brand Rye is a northern rye that will produce leafy forage from September until it goes dormant, and then comes out of dormancy for a high flush of leafy growth until May. Grazemaster Brand Rye is leafier than many other strains of rye. Exhibiting better quality results in higher quality forage, containing higher quality protein and calcium with better palatability. Grazemaster Brand Rye is very versatile; it performs equally well with beef, milk, and sheep operations for grazing, silage, greenchop and haying. It has excellent regrowth following close grazing and cutting. Grazemaster Brand Rye rotates well with summer cash crops and forage crops.

Soybeans

Soybean plants can be grazed or harvested from the flowering stage to near maturity for use as high-quality hay. Soybeans may also be grown as a silage crop in pure culture or intercropped with sorghum. Using soybeans for forage, rather than grain, is also economically feasible given the current relative values. Planting at a higher plant population would promote thinner-stemmed soybeans, which would be easier to condition to ensure proper curing. From the standpoint of producing the highest quantity and quality of forage, the best time to cut is at 90 percent pod fill, just before the leaves begin to yellow and fall. The soybean plant maintains its high quality over such an extended period because of the high protein and energy contents of the developing seed. When producing silage from soybean, water retention in the seed is not a problem and the lower palatability of the stems is solved by chopping and the subsequent fermentation process. Soybeans may be grown for use as a high-protein forage for grazing, haying or ensiling. Adapted varieties should provide a forage with qualities similar to alfalfa.

Corn

Corn Silage is still the highest yielding option for late planting. It is also a crop that farmers know and have the appropriate equipment to grow and harvest properly. As planting dates get into July a fuller season variety will hold the most yield potential in total tonnage as the likelihood of ear development is low regardless of maturity planted. Since insect pressure will be reduced at this point a lower cost conventional or herbicide only traited variety will suffice. Selecting a variety with higher fiber digestibility may provide improved quality. Because quality will be lower and moisture higher, segregating to feed to heifers or lower producers is suggested if possible, and/or use to top off bunks of earlier planted silage. Chop longer and use an appropriate silage inoculant to maximize quality.


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