Forage Planting Dates

This year's cold, late spring has thrown off typical planting schedules. Growers in parts of the country still waiting to plant need to consider their options carefully, warns Mark Sulc, Ohio State University (OSU) extension forage specialist.

"Planting (perennial) forages later than now may work, but the probabilities of success are declining with every passing day and the difficulties for the new seedlings are increasing. ... An alternative to consider is to plant a short-season annual forage crop now that can be harvested in late June and July, then plant the perennial forage stand in early to mid-August when the law of averages is in favor of the forage seedlings once more," he writes in OSU's C.O.R.N. Newsletter.

Bermudagrass Stem Maggot Management

Want more info on how to manage the bermudagrass stem maggots that are damaging Southeastern forage crops? The relatively new pests are infesting fields from Georgia to Texas, and could push up hay prices.

GeorgiaForages.com is hosting a webinar at 9:30 a.m. on May 20, suggesting how to suppress or control the maggots and other forage insects, including fall armyworms, fireants and grubs.

"However, you must RSVP and let us know you want to attend so that we can send you the connection instructions," according to GeorgiaForages.com. (To RSVP, email feltonc@uga.edu or call 706-310-3464.)

Grazing Oats

BEEF magazine, our sister publication, gathered five tips for effectively grazing oat pastures. A high-fiber grain option for cattle, oats are typically planted as an alfalfa companion crop.

"Oats can offer a high-quality grazing option for spring and early summer, but getting the most out of this forage can be tricky," writes Amanda Radke in her blog, BEEF Daily. "It's important to start grazing early and to graze hard enough to keep your oats vegetative and leafy, thereby stimulating it to constantly form new tillers," she quotes Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist.

Picking A Summer Annual Forage

Summer annual grasses are a big deal in the Southeast, but the bevy of options can make choosing the right ones difficult. At least 10 grasses can be used as forage crops in Georgia alone. Many don't make good hay crops because they dry slowly, but some are recommended for grazing use, says Dennis Hancock, University of Georgia Extension forage specialist.

"They have a significant fit in our forage systems to fill in the summer forage gap in the Fescue Belt and as an emergency forage crop for dry summers or bare ground," writes Hancock in the Southeast Cattle Advisor Newsletter.