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Planting

Seed selection is only the beginning to a plentiful forage harvest; check out additional articles on soil testing, root development and timing to help you succeed.

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It's the time of year when Universities publish their 2011 forage trial results. How did the various corn silage, alfalfa and other forage varities perform in field tests during the past year?

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Results from the 2011 University of Minnesota corn grain and silage hybrid trials are available online. These trials were conducted at multiple locations across Minnesota to provide unbiased and replicated information on the performance of numerous hybrids for growers and agronomists.

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If you’re deciding to plant a single-species blend forage product, you should weigh price against the need for a pure-line variety with known traits and performance levels. You should also compare seed purity and quality.

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Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a vigorous, warm-season perennial grass planted for many purposes including livestock grazing, wildlife cover and as a biofuel crop.

Switchgrass begins growth in late spring and continues through the summer if moisture is available. It grows 3 to 6 feet in small to large sodded clumps that spread slowly from numerous scaly, creeping rhizomes.

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Not everyone uses the same forms of planting. Some people might use an eight-row to 36-row planter for seed – but others might use a five-row planter for sprigging.

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Profitable winter grazing systems depend upon matching the forage growth and quality with the livestock nutritional requirements.

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