Fall-Seed Grasses Early
By Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin
Late-summer or fall establishment of grass is often
desired in the Midwest. Most farmers don't realize how much the seeding
date affects the yield of the grasses the next year. We seeded six
forage grasses at several late-summer and fall dates at three sites in
Wisconsin (River Falls, Arlington and Lancaster) over three years.
Seeding dates were spaced approximately every two to three weeks from
about Aug. 1 to late November. Species included orchardgrass, smooth
bromegrass, timothy, reed canarygrass, perennial ryegrass and tall
All of the grasses seeded by mid- to late September produced stands with
visible plants before we had a killing frost most years, and these
plants usually survived the winter. Later seedings did not produce
visible plants until spring, if at all. Slow-establishing species,
particularly reed canarygrass, produced better stands when seeded by
early September. Timothy tended to be the most variable with regard to
seeding date and next-year yield. In only one trial out of nine did a
November seeding, where the seed lay dormant over winter, produce a
stand the next spring.
The most important finding is that grasses with earlier seeding dates
(early through mid-August) usually had more tillers per square foot,
more tillers per plant and higher dry matter yield the following season.
The average first-cutting yield the spring after seeding ranged from 1.5
tons/acre to less than 0.5 ton/acre when the grasses were harvested at
the boot stage, depending on when they were sown the previous year. By
later cuttings the stands had recovered and all yielded well. However,
delaying late-summer seeding from mid-August to mid-September generally
resulted in 1 ton/acre less yield the next year.
This study clearly shows that delaying grass seeding in the late summer
or early fall not only increases the risk of establishment failure but
reduces yield of the stand the next year. Therefore, we recommend
seeding grasses as early as possible during August.
For industry-leading cutting capacity, no
matter what the crop, look to the New Holland HW Series
Speedrower™ Self-Propelled Windrowers. You get increased power and
a new level of CONTROL that makes you more productive. Choose from a
broad selection of sickle, disc and draper headers to match your
capacity and performance needs. To learn more, see your local New
Holland dealer or call 1-888-290-7377. www.newholland.com/h4/
Heat Takes Toll On California Dairy Cows
The Modesto Bee, Modesto, CA, reports the
state's recent brutal heat wave has resulted in the death of about 1% of
the milk-producing dairy cows in Stanislaus County. That's about 1,400
cows. Dairy operators in the county keep 13% of their cows dry. None of
the dry cows were said to be in danger. The health of the dairy industry
matters in the northern San Joaquin Valley, where milk is the top farm
product, bringing an estimated $1.6 billion in gross income to farmers
in 2004, the paper reports. Stanislaus County dairies grossed $550
million in 2005.
Midwestern Officials Seek Disaster
The Midwest's leading state agriculture officials have
called on the federal government to approve disaster assistance for
farmers and ranchers impacted by drought and other adverse weather. The
request came in a resolution approved at the Midwest Association of
State Departments of Agriculture (MASDA) annual meeting in Madison, WI,
last week. The resolution urges Congress, the president and USDA "to
move rapidly to implement disaster legislation to provide financial
assistance to producers affected by the drought and other adverse
weather conditions covering the 2005 and 2006 crop years." MASDA is
comprised of the commissioners, secretaries and directors of agriculture
of North Dakota, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota,
Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.
Source: U.S. AgNet.
NK Brand Alfalfas deliver
more quality AND more yield. Our premium alfalfas, like Genoa,
Expedition and Boulder, combine high nutritional values with high
yields, plus outstanding agronomics and persistence for longer,
healthier stands. The result? More profit from your alfalfa acres -
whether you feed it or sell it. www.nk-us.com
There is no hay to move in Alabama, The
Ledger-Enquirer of Columbus, GA, says as hay supplies dwindle,
drought conditions have forced Alabama cattle producers to sell calves
and thin herds early to avoid further losses. Even if Alabama were to
get adequate rain soon, it would take about a month for pastures to
recover from the severe drought that has plagued the state this summer.
Federal officials recently opened some Conservation Reserve Program
(CRP) acreage for emergency haying and grazing in six counties: Elmore,
Montgomery, Macon, Pike, Covington and Geneva. The area extends 150
miles out from any of those counties.
Hay demand is high and supply is limited in much of
Colorado, reports Don Leonard, Don's Hay Service, Brush. "Almost any
kind of hay is bringing at least $110-120/ton," he says. "As the quality
goes up, so does the price, but the transportation is pretty high on it,
too." First cutting was a little short due to a lack of rain, but
quality was good. Growers have started on the third cutting and
quantities should be sufficient on irrigated circles -- as long as the
water holds out.
Water is a huge topic of conversation in the West, Leonard reports. "We
are short of water here on the South Platte River," he says. "Later
cutting isn't going to be possible unless we get some rain. We have had
very little rain here this summer. The long-term forecast isn't all that
good, either. We are going to be in trouble with irrigation water for
next year unless we get high snow-pack and some extra moisture that can
replenish these underground aquifers."
Other parts of Colorado have had a little more moisture this summer.
Leonard says the western slope area has gotten some rain and snow-pack
was adequate in most parts of northern Colorado last winter. "However,
we have had an extremely hot summer," he says. "We've had many days over
100 degrees, which is not usual for this area. July brought hot winds
from the South, too, which dried things out."
Leonard says lots of hay trucks are heading south out of the state
toward New Mexico and Texas, in spite of high fuel prices.
He produces 3 x 3' and 4 x 4' bales of horse and dairy hay and sells
throughout the U.S. He delivers hay within Colorado and to surrounding
states with his own trucks.
Contact Leonard at 970-842-3058.
Hay supplies are tight and water is getting tighter in
Kansas, according to Steve Hessman, Kansas Department of
Agriculture-USDA Market News Service, Dodge City. Currently, about
two-thirds of Kansas is under moderate to severe drought, while the
remaining third is abnormally dry. "I'm afraid we just might run out of
alfalfa for feedlots," he says. "Production has been down because of the
hot, dry weather. The heat has been terrible. Irrigators are running
into their water allotments and are trying to stretch the water as much
as possible. They want to keep the hay alive but can't afford to waste
Hessman says most growers have seen about a one-third decline in
production because of the drought, even with irrigation. Dryland hay
growers have seen their production cut almost in half. In addition, feed
yards are receiving more cattle from the even drier surrounding states
and nutritionists are balancing rations with less alfalfa. "We are
seeing more and more cutting of hay on CRP land in order to have hay for
cow herds and feedlots," Hessman says.
Dairy producers need hay, but are struggling to pay for it due to low
There will probably be a lot of silage and baled feed made from
drought-stressed crops, but Hessman reminds producers to test for
nitrates before feeding. "Run those feed tests whether you are a buyer
or a seller," he states.
Farmers and ranchers who need the latest drought information should
visit the Kansas Department of Agriculture Web site at www.ksda.gov. The
department hosts three Web pages -- Kansas Drought Information,
Procedures for Emergency Federal Assistance and Drought News -- that
explain the state's role in a drought, how an agriculture disaster is
declared, and link to the latest drought news from Governor Kathleen
Sebelius, the Kansas Farm Service Agency and USDA. The site also
provides links to hay and pasture Web sites.
Contact Hessman at 620-227-8881.
Some areas of Michigan have huge rainfall deficits,
while others have big surpluses -- in some cases for the second
consecutive year. The upper peninsula, northern lower peninsula and
southwestern corner of the state have consistently seen less
precipitation over the last two years. The upper half of the lower
peninsula from Oceana County across to the Saginaw Bay and north toward
Alpena has received more.
According to Jeff Andresen, a Michigan State University meteorologist, 9
to 11" of rain is normally recorded in the three-month period from May
to July. This year the dry areas have been under that norm by as much as
6", whereas the wet areas have been over by 6". Nationally, he notes,
the West has suffered from drought while the East Coast has been
hammered with rain. "Michigan is somewhere in between," he says.
Source: Michigan State University.
Research trials conducted throughout the major alfalfa growing
regions of the U.S. prove the superior performance of Raptor®
herbicide: Controlling grasses and broadleaf weeds with Raptor in
both seedling and established alfalfa can have a significant effect
in improving the yield potential and forage quality of your
The chemical company.
Always read and follow label directions.
Raptor is a registered trademark of BASF. © 2005 BASF
All Rights Reserved.
APN 05-01-133-0010 b
Western Hay Business Conference Is Oct.
The Western Hay Business Conference and Expo, sponsored
by Hay & Forage Grower, is scheduled for Oct. 24-25 at the Red
Lion Hotel at the Park in Spokane, WA. It will feature a panel of
innovative hay growers discussing ways to increase sales and profits.
Other speakers will cover hay export opportunities.
Come to the conference to learn tips on how to squeeze more profit from
your hay business. Learn more about alfalfa's role in human nutrition,
in building materials, and as fodder for ethanol. Learn more about how
to maximize yields and profits from timothy and orchardgrass. Find out
why hay growers need to look at the organic hay market and what horse
hay buyers want and how they want it.
Register for $150 per person and bring a second person from your
operation for $125. Learn more at www.hayconference.com.
**Aug. 7-9 -- Texas A&M Beef Cattle Short
Course, Texas A&M University, College Station. Register online at animalscience.tamu.edu or by calling 979-845-6931.
**Aug. 25 -- Illinois Forage Expo, Hildebrandt Farms, 2475 State
Line Road, South Beloit. Learn more at www.illinoisforage.org, or contact the Illinois Forage
& Grassland Council at 618-664-0555, ext. 3.
**Sept. 7-9 -- National Hay Association 111th Annual Convention,
Snow King Resort, Jackson Hole, WY. Call 800-707-0014 or visit www.nationalhay.org.
**Sept. 7-9 -- Stockman's School For Profit, Rockin H Ranch,
Norwood, MO. Gerald Fry and Cody Holms will provide real live data and a
close-up look at how the Rockin H Ranch of 900 cow/calf pairs has grown
to a successful family operation in the last 31 years. Ranchers can
learn how to profitably operate a ranch. Contact Cody Holmes at
417-844-2619, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.rochinh.net.
**Sept. 12 -- Kentucky Forage And Grassland Council Field Day,
Dobbs Shady Meadow Farm, Campbell County. Learn more at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage.
**Sept. 21-24 -- World Beef Expo, Wisconsin State Fair Park near
Milwaukee. Learn more at www.worldbeefexpo.com, or call 414-266-7050.
**Oct. 3-7 -- World Dairy Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison,
WI. Learn more at www.worlddairyexpo.com.
**Oct. 17-19 -- Sunbelt Ag Exposition, Moultrie, GA.
**Oct. 20-21 -- 5th Annual Pennsylvania Statewide Project Grass
Conference, Williamsport. Featured speakers include Jim Gerrish and
Allen Williams, plus many more. Contact Kris Ribble at email@example.com or
570-784-4401 ext. 111.
**Oct. 24-25 -- Western Hay Business Conference And Expo, Red
Lion Hotel at the Park, Spokane, WA. Sponsored by Hay & Forage
Grower. Register at $150 per person and bring a second person from
your operation for $125. Learn more at www.hayconference.com.
**Nov. 21 -- Kentucky Grazing Conference, Fayette County
Extension Office, Lexington. Learn more at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage.
**Dec. 11-13 -- Western Alfalfa & Forage Conference, Reno, NV.
Contact Dan Putnam at 530-752-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Glenn
Shewmaker at 208-736-3608 or email@example.com.
**Jan. 18-19 -- Southwest Hay Conference, Ruidoso Convention
Center, Ruidoso, New Mexico. Contact Doug Whitney at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Gina
Sterrett at 505-626-5677.
**Jan. 24-25 -- Heart Of America Grazing Conference, Holiday Inn,
Mount Vernon, IL. Contact Garry Lacefield at 270-365-7541, ext. 202, or
**Feb. 6-7 -- Mid-America Alfalfa Expo, Buffalo County
Fairgrounds, Kearney, NE. For more information, visit www.alfalfaexpo.com
or call Barb Kinnan at 800-743-1649.
**Feb. 27 -- Kentucky Alfalfa Conference, Cave City Convention
Center. Learn more at www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage.
**Feb. 28-March 2 -- National Grassfed Beef Conference,
Grantville, PA. Contact John Comerford at 814-863-3661 or email@example.com, or Dave Hartman at
570-784-6660, ext. 12, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
More About this Newsletter
You are subscribed to this newsletter as #email#
To get this newsletter in a different format (Text or HTML),
or to change your e-mail address, please visit your profile
page to change your delivery preferences.
For questions concerning delivery of this newsletter, please contact our
Customer Service Department at:
Customer Service Department
Delta Farm Press
A Prism Business Media publication
US Toll Free: 866-505-7173