Dan Bussey is an apple historian, orchardist, cider maker, and author of the seven volume series “The Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada.” He has a special interest in heirloom apples and loves to get creative with his cidermaking.
Frost seeding legumes and grasses is common means to improve forage yield or change the species composition of a pasture. Frost seeding offers several potential advantages: the ability to establish forage in an undisturbed sod, a reduced need for labor and energy compared to conventional seeding methods, the ability to establish forages with minimum equipment investment, a shortened “non-grazing” period, and a means to maintain stands at productive levels with both grasses and legumes.
Alfalfa can remain productive in stands from four to ten years or more, but as plant population declines renovation eventually becomes necessary. Alfalfa is commonly grown in rotation with grain crops, however, continuous production is desirable in many areas, particularly on soils that are marginal for economic grain production. Reseeding alfalfa immediately following alfalfa is not recommended in most states due to the negative effects of autotoxicity, seedling disease and insect pests which can build up in old stands. A rotation interval is commonly recommended between killing an old stand of alfalfa and reseeding new alfalfa to help insure successful establishment.
The high price of nitrogen fertilizer has increased interest in planting a legume crop after wheat or canning crop harvest as a green manure to provide some nitrogen credits for next year’s crop. This practice can provide some nitrogen and organic matter as well as increase ground cover to reduce erosion from fields. However, it may not be cost effective.
First, we should put things into perspective by stating that alfalfa is still the best choice, in most cases, for long-term production of high quality, high tonnage harvested forage. We also expect to see increased use of corn silage, where topography and farm plans permit in dairy rations, in the alfalfa-based rations.
Sainfoin (Onobrychis vicifolia) is deep-rooted and very drought-resistant. It yields best on high pH, deep, well-drained soils, and will not withstand wet soils or high water tables. It is not as winterhardy as some cultivars of alfalfa. Sainfoin is short-lived where root and crown rots are a problem.
Some farmers always get a good forage stand and some always fear seeding because of difficulty getting good stands. A good stand is crucial to profitability. If the stand is thin, it will never yield well and will be weedy. Additionally, if the stand is so poor that reseeding is necessary, the grower will have lost most or all of a growing season for forage production on that field.
This past year, in tandem with the release of the second WICCI report, an extensive report from the Agriculture Working Group detailed agriculture’s contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change, the impacts of climate change on Wisconsin agriculture, and ways farmers can adapt to the changing climate. In this article, four key strategies for reducing the sector’s contribution to climate change and increasing agriculture’s resilience are identified.
An interview with Hailey Shanovich about her work understanding insect pests of hazelnuts in the Upper Midwest. Hailey is a Natural Resource Science PhD Student and Research Assistant in the Department of Entomology at the University of Minnesota. Link to Hailey’s presentation at the 2022 Upper Midwest Hazelnut Growers Conference: www.midwesthazelnuts.org/uploads/3/8/…you_nuts.pdf Resources Upper Midwest Hazelnut Development […]
In this episode we get updates from hazelnut researchers Mark Hamann and Dr. Lois Braun at the University of Minnesota and Jason Fischbach at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Mark Hamann is a Research Technician at the University of Minnesota and works as an assistant to Dr. Lois Braun. Prior to working at UMN, […]