Stress in the seeding year reduces future yields of alfalfa. This occurs because the seeding year determines the stand plant density as well as individual plant size and vigor. The following paragraphs will show that autotoxicity, potato leaf hopper, cover crop, and, possibly, drought stresses in the seeding year will reduce alfalfa yield in future years, even when the stress is gone.
The decision to take a late summer or fall cutting of alfalfa should be considered carefully. A farm should evaluate current forage needs, economics, stand health, and timing to make the best decision for their individual situation. Although the need for more forage may override some other factors, the timing of harvest is still critical. […]
While farming in the ‘North’ brings the benefits of growing some of the best forages like alfalfa and cool-season grasses, it also carries the weight of fall decisions that will ‘make or break’ your profit due to risks of winter injury. Fall decisions regarding alfalfa production include proper harvest timing and providing adequate potassium, leading to strong plants that can survive a severe winter and come back the following year with good yield potential.
Tools are available to help corn growers and dairy and livestock producers negotiate a fair price for corn silage.
Corn silage is unique compared to other multicut forage systems, such as alfalfa, as there is only one opportunity to harvest the crop annually. Therefore, farmers, agronomists, and agricultural professionals must dilligently monitor corn silage acres to identify the optimal harvest time to maximize forage yield and quality, as well as to ensure the proper moisture content for ensiling.
UW-Madison Extension provides tips for sound grazing management that meets the requirements of the animal and also those of the forage plant.
UW-Madison Extension provides tips for surface broadcasting of seed in late winter or frost seeding, which is a common practice that minimizes equipment expenses and erosion concerns over tillage practices.
UW-Madison Extension provides tips for preparing pastures for grazing in the Spring.
UW-Madison Extension provides guidance in management and adaptation aspects of choosing and using forage grasses or legumes in rotation with productive fields of cultivated crops, or keeping erodible land in permanent grass/legume pasture
UW-Madison Extension provides several strategies that can ease the transition into spring, and help you avoid common mistakes associated with going too fast from dry, austere hay feeding to lush green grass grazing.
UW-Madison Extension provides information about using various types of annual and perennial ryegrasses as cool-season forages that make for a good addition to a pasture mix.
The plant density that maximizes corn grain and silage yield has been increasing through time. The economic optimum plant density is a function of corn yield and quality responses, seed cost, and grain or silage price. The economic plant density is lower than the plant density that maximizes yield.