Because summer forage seed supplies are limited, Arkansas cattle producers should buy what they need soon, recommends a University of Arkansas forage specialist.

Last year’s drought reduced sorghum, millet, sundagrass and crabgrass seed production, says John Jennings. Kansas, Oklahoma and other parts of the sourthwestern U.S. are dealing with short supplies.

Red River crabgrass is already sold out, he says. “Sorghum and millet supply of certain varieties is somewhat better than last year, but as current inventory is sold, price will increase for any remaining supplies.”

Summer forages can be used to renovate drought-damaged fields before planting other perennial forages, Jennings says. The optimal time to plant them is coming up quickly. Crabgrass should be planted between April and mid-May, at 3-5 lbs/acre.  Millet and sorghum should be planted when the soil temperatures reach 65ºF, usually from early to mid–May and into June if there is enough moisture in the soil.