After experiencing a crop failure and determining it's worth planting another crop, growers look for advice. Get it from several sources, including seed companies, university forage specialists and extension educators, advised Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin extension forage agronomist in early August.

Case in point: At the end of July, cornfields were hard hit by hail in Wisconsin, Minnesota and northern Iowa. Thousands of fields were damaged and some assessed as total losses. “But I'm amazed about people recommending planting sorghum-sudangrass,” said Undersander.

“That's about the worst thing to plant,” he added. “You would get no tonnage; it only grows when the temperatures are above 80 degrees, and we'll be past that in about two weeks (mid-August).”

He advised growers who needed more forage to consider oats, because it grows in cool fall temperatures, offering the best tonnage for the time of year planted.