The decision to utilize late-summer planted forage crops as a feed source may be necessary when in-season crop yields fail to meet expectations or opportunities exist in the current crop rotation. One should evaluate the decision to plant and harvest late-summer planted forage crops carefully.
Sorghum plants such as sudangrass and sorghum-sudan hybrids are tropical summer annuals well adapted to drought conditions with leaves and stems with a waxy covers that limits water losses. They are widely grown for grazing, silage as well as green chop in areas that are too dry for corn.
The third Focus on Forage webinar in the 2023 series features alternative forage production information. Presenters are Bill Halfman, UW-Madison Division of Extension Beef Outreach Specialist; Dr. John Jones, UW Madison Soil Scientist; and Jason Cavadini, UW-Madison Division of Extension Grazing Outreach Specialist.
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.
Introduction From 2006 to 2010, Wisconsin averaged 282,000 acres of harvested wheat (USDA-NASS, 2007-2011). After harvest some of these fields are planted with late summer alfalfa and a few more receive manure, but many sit fallow for the rest of the growing season. Fields that are tilled late summer to control weeds are left vulnerable […]
Research is developing new understanding of forage, fiber, and the animal’s ability to use them. We have also increased understanding of the genetics of alfalfa to allow improved variety selection methods and enhanced performance for the farmer. This paper will consider both topics. Growing Alfalfa/Grass Mixtures Generally dairymen have perceived grasses to be too high […]
Introduction Many dairy and heifer rearing operations are looking for increased feed production on a limited acreage for their operation. Planting fall grain rye and harvesting the crop as forage the following spring can increase forage yield per acre and reduce forage production costs. Double cropping fall grain rye following soybean or early corn silage […]
The optimum crop to plant for emergency forage should be determined by 1) when and how it will be utilized, 2) the forage quality needed, and 3) seed availability and cost. In 2003 and 2004, emergency forage trials were conducted at 5 locations across Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. Trials were seeded at each of three […]
Soybeans can be harvested as a hay or silage crop. This option is often considered either when forage is short or when the soybean crop is damaged for harvest as a grain crop (for example. following hail damage or an early frost). Soybean forage, like most legumes, tends to be high in protein and low […]
What are the different types of sorghum and sudangrasses? Sorghum and sudangrasses are warm-weather crops and will perform best in years when the growing season is characterized by higher-than-average temperatures. Cool conditions will severely limit productivity. Sorghums are diverse but generally fall into the following categories: Grain Sorghum – also called milo, used for grain production […]
Many farmers have considered including peas with small grains used as a cover crop for establishing alfalfa or as an emergency silage crop. The resulting silage is more palatable and higher in quality than small grain silage. The following information summarizes research regarding the influence of variety selection, seeding rate and mixture proportion.