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Other Forage

Find production tips on specialty or non-traditional forages – from cover crops to corn stover, and sorghums to small grains or brassicas.

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As temperatures began to drop below freezing, southern Idaho livestock producer Justin Place of Place Farms had doubts about the field of cold-tolerant berseem clover he was trialling as a break crop and whether it would survive.

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Whether producers are wanting to grow more homegrown feedstuff without increasing acreage, improve soil structure, add organic matter into the ground, increase soil fertility or all the above – cover crops are an effective and quick way to achieve their goals, says Jerry Hall, director of research for Grassland Oregon.

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Using tillable acres to provide feed for cattle while still harvesting a cash crop is becoming a popular goal for producers. A growing question from farmers is, “What options do I have for producing forage in the off-season?” In the Midwest, the most popular choices are cereal rye, triticale and wheat.

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Here’s the problem: Summer annuals were providing great forage, but in Tim Willis’ and Robbie Tate’s low ground, there were just too many issues. There was standing water at times, floods at others, just not an easy place to grow forage – especially annuals.

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Your small grains may already be in the ground, but manage aggressively to maximize their cover crop and feeding capabilities.

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Sorghum has been referred to as the lazy man’s crop. That isn’t a reflection on anyone’s work ethic, but rather refers to the fact that there are multiple ways to harvest or feed sorghum and any one of them will wait in the field without detriment to the crop at the expense of (or while possibly losing) another crop.

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