Forage Crop planning

July 30, 2011

By now, most if not all producers have made their decisions on what forage crop they will be using this upcoming season. The most popular (and most beneficial) is the use of rice as a forage crop.

Rice is very hardy in the cold weather and will break down slowly throughout the season, optimizing the use as a forage crop this season. Alternatives would be sorgham sudangrass, which breaks down slowly as well, but does not always prove to be the best choice and voluntary forage (aquatic weeds), which is not really a forage crop, but is the cheapest route to go. When deciding what forage crop to use, it seems to be a decision made by time. More calls seem to come from what can I do if I wait too late before planting a forage crop than anything else during this time of year. There will also be some calls later on the alternative use of forage crops if we get storms or any other natural problems that delays the planting of a forage crop.

The optimal planting time for rice is August (the first part) and sorgham-sudangrass the end of August. Of course, every situation seems to be different, but these are the optimal planning times for most.

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