Put machinery manufacturer or seed company calendars to good use in planning and recording next year’s forage activities.

For example, mark down when in January or February to order alfalfa and other seeds to make sure you get what you want, says University of Nebraska Extension forage specialist Bruce Anderson.

“Then, in March, remind yourself to pull any soil samples you didn’t get last fall as well as get ready to plant oats at your earliest opportunity,” he says.

Jot down when to apply lime and phosphorus or other fertilizers as needed and, by mid-April, plant alfalfa before corn planting begins. Cool-season grass pastures also should be fertilized by mid-April.

“When May arrives, get your thistles sprayed right away. Begin checking your alfalfa so, once buds just start to form, you can be ready for an early first cutting that brings a premium price. In late May, warm-season grass pastures can use some fertilizer and, shortly thereafter, plant your summer annuals.”

Mark your calendar for early April to prepare and plant turnips or oats for late fall, early winter grazing, he says. Also pen in a reminder to sample and test all your harvested forages so you can plan and feed animals during winter to meet their needs at lowest cost.

“I’m sure you can think of many other items to add to your own calendar. Make those notes now, and in twelve months you will smile, knowing you got all your forage work done correctly and on time,” Anderson says.