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 Summer Forage

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Mean Spirit



Posts : 342
Join date : 2010-09-26

PostSubject: Summer Forage   Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:13 am

I'm thinking about sowing some pearl millet or similar summer annual in one paddock. There's not much fescue in there, and it gets pretty weedy in the summer. Besides hopefully making feed, I also hope sowing something to compete better with the pigweed will help.

We don't have any real equipment- just old tractors, seed broadcaster, various thousand year old discs, plows. We don't like paying people to farm for us. What I want to do is, in the first week or two of May, get the grass in there now real short (graze, mow), drag the disc over the whole thing, then broadcast the millet (or whatever) into what will still be fairly substantial grass. We can drag something behind after that to maybe help seed contact, and we can put the cows back on it some for a day or two.

Will that work? We do winter forage this way every year, and it seems to work real well if the weather works out. Only time I've ever tried any millet I paid a guy to drill it in. That didn't seem to work particularly well.

We'd time it close after rain so the disc can break up the sod a bit. It's just 5-10 acres, so we can do it all in one day.

Thoughts?
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Grassfarmer



Posts : 861
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:27 am

Don't know about in your climate but millet, like all C4 plants, is very uncompetitive in its first 6 weeks. I wouldn't try that here, especially the broadcasting versus seeding in part.
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Mean Spirit



Posts : 342
Join date : 2010-09-26

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Apr 22, 2016 8:49 am

That jibes with our experience with no-till drilling the millet back in the day. The weather became surprisingly good- ample rain-- and the weeds sort of took it over. I guess the answer is probably the same for the other dry weather annual grasses.


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EddieM



Posts : 916
Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Apr 22, 2016 5:36 pm

Fellow near here does a lot of annuals and mows close with rotary mower, waits 5 days or so to mow again. This drops the stored carbohydrates in the roots down to near nil. Puts the phase 1 growth into a longer cycle and lets summer annuals have a fighting chance. If you do it with moisture then good. Do it dry and hope for rain then the perennials will have time to rebuild and outgrow the annuals. I guess you could mow again.
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Grassfarmer



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Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Apr 22, 2016 9:38 pm

I guess my question is why are you trying to seed warm season annuals into an existing perennial stand? Up here I would either go with the perennial stand or terminate the stand and grow a warm season as a crop on its own for winter feed or swath grazing. Can you grow a warm season down there using the soil as a growing medium for a few months while its already supporting a perennial without damaging the long term stand?
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EddieM



Posts : 916
Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Sat Apr 23, 2016 7:51 am

A desire here is to preserve the perennial and get a period of better grazing with annuals. Not uncommon at all. The devil is in the details. Some "frost" perennials with a half rate of a roundup type application but this is not a recommendation, just discussion.
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MKeeney
Admin


Posts : 4770
Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Sat Apr 23, 2016 8:46 am

thread drift warning !
be sure and dna to decide which animals go to any pasture with fescue...Mark DeBoo is the expert to call on this; write-up in Farm Journal this week...reminds of the Dave Nichols mineral promotion; be the first to endorse a new DNA test or product and get all the free publicity...
Which raises a question; since ya can`t change`em without changing them, are the MT produced bulls that dna test better for Missouri fescue, poorer for Montana alfalfa?
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Brent L



Posts : 4
Join date : 2012-04-08

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Sat Apr 23, 2016 9:32 am

In my experience crabgrass will work better in minimal disturbance or tillage of the soil.  Pearl millet or similar grasses like a cleaner seed bed.
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RobertMac



Posts : 379
Join date : 2010-09-28
Location : Mississippi, USA

PostSubject: +1 crabgrass   Sun Apr 24, 2016 11:55 pm

Generally, something developed as a crop has to be grown as a crop.
A clean seed bed the first of May will start all the seeds present at the same time with the next rain.
Double or more the broadcast seeding rate will help...and a cultipacker.
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Mean Spirit



Posts : 342
Join date : 2010-09-26

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:34 pm

I'll take a look at crabgrass. Maybe that'll work.
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C.S.Cunningham



Posts : 24
Join date : 2016-04-20

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Tue Apr 26, 2016 11:09 am

You might want to look into a multispecies warm sesson mix. In my area millit, sunflower, grazing corn, sudex, and cowpeas are generally included. Sunhemp is a wonderful addition, if your state will permit it.

There is a lot to be said for the good soil contact of a no till drill. You local Coop or extension should have one for rent.

When I prepare to drill,  I mob the cattle very tightly and graze it down. I then drill in my seed and hit it again with the cattle after a few days' regrowth.

After the crop becomes established, the crop will shade out the perennial stand and the perennial stand will go into dormancy. However, with a good legume mix and all the green thatch you will lay down from the cover crop residue, your perennial stand will actually benefit.

Green cover seed is a good company from which to order.
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RobertMac



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Location : Mississippi, USA

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Thu Apr 28, 2016 3:12 pm

How many pounds per acre of the mix do you drill?
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EddieM



Posts : 916
Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:01 pm

Been a "little dry" around here this summer.  This is a season's growth of johnsongrass and most growth has been in the last 10 days with a little over 1" of rain in 5 or 6 showers.  Rain is gone now, pretty much.  Army worms are busy all around.  The other grass in the picture-KY 31 fescue.  I would say that we will stockpile some later if it rains!

Have to rely on the old adage: "It always rains after a dry spell".  Or " The Lord allows it to rain on the just and the unjust".  Hopefully, soon.

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EddieM



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Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:05 pm

Got a shower of 0.6" yesterday so we have a few more days to grow some grass. Shifted cows to pasture next to working pens and will sort off a group to sell next week. Not a lot of joy in a drought sale but part of the job.

I guess if I had shorter cows that drought would not matter as they are more efficient and only need air and water to thrive. But you know me: hard headed!
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EddieM



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Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:37 pm

Had a frog strangler here this afternoon and picked up about 1.6". Maybe the drought has broken. At least it buys us some time.
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Grassfarmer



Posts : 861
Join date : 2010-09-27
Location : Belmont, Manitoba, Canada

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Sat Aug 20, 2016 8:53 am

As the saying goes "For all of man’s technological advances, his very existence depends on a few inches of topsoil and the chance that it might rain."

We've been blessed with a summer of abundance here, the kind of season you maybe only see a couple of times in a career. 150% of usual moisture, perfectly timed and beautiful growing conditions. The wild bushes and trees are laden with fruit and berries, our grass and crops are good, enough feed put up for a couple of winters and our first year experimenting with grazing corn is looking great. Plants are 10' high in places - don't know what my cows will make of that!

Hopefully you get a turnaround and the conditions we've had this year, and we don't get it as bad next year as you've had it this time. Mother Nature is fickle!
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MKeeney
Admin


Posts : 4770
Join date : 2010-09-21

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Mon Aug 22, 2016 8:17 pm

Apparently, it continues to rain at Brent`s...50 days growth here on a corn, bean, millet, etc mix...

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Mark Day



Posts : 232
Join date : 2010-09-24
Age : 51
Location : Russellville, Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:37 pm

More rain here this summer than I can remember. Extra grain bins being built by many people to hold the expected increased crop yields. Weeds also out of control unfortunately.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:28 am

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EddieM



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Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:21 am

I showed the cows your pictures. They drooled on the computer.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Sep 02, 2016 10:38 am

getting some rain Eddie?
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EddieM



Posts : 916
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Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Sep 02, 2016 3:32 pm

Cold front pushed in from the NW last night and showers were up towards Clemson and Spartanburg. After it was supposed to be over, around 10 PM the rain cut loose and we got 2.1" in a little over an hour from a small freak thunderstorm left over from the front. Thankfully, it centered on the area of the severe drought and down into Abbeville County they got 3+". The tropical stuff is pretty much east of us except for clouds, temps and wind. Off and on light drizzle today and will be gone in a couple of hours.

We came back from LA on Wed night and Thur morning. Did not know what might happen and it is better to be a day ahead rather than a day behind. I had already tried tropical white-out rains on Sunday between Orange Beach, AL and Baton Rouge and did not need that again. If you want to see Atlanta, try 3 AM! It is a wonderful ride. TV news has not done justice to widespread damage in LA. A huge mess. Talked with one lady who stayed in her house with 3 feet of water. She left when the snakes began to swim in. She went back to start cleaning up and had possums in the house. Another lady told me about the minnows in the kitchen. "Fresh water" is not supposed to be as bad a salt water but in urban areas there is the sewage element that is a concern. But black mold is the key to reuse or throw away.

So it is back to figuring fall planting, seeing how much fescue survived the drought and try to sell a few more bulls and sheep. Sent some rams out to WA about 2 weeks ago. That went better than I expected. First time I ever sent any by third party. Still have a few to be picked up from local and the east coast. Other than that - not much is happening! Thanks for checking.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:21 pm

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EddieM



Posts : 916
Join date : 2010-09-24
Location : South Carolina

PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Sun Sep 18, 2016 7:44 pm

Army worms are so bad around here, we had to put the grasshoppers and crickets on food stamps. Other than that, a great spell to dry your clothes on the clothesline and get that fresh ozone smell in the house.
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MKeeney
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PostSubject: Re: Summer Forage   Sun Oct 30, 2016 3:31 pm

Anyone ever tried Patriot clover?
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