Spring Planted Forages
It is hard to start thinking about planting season around the corner with all the snow piled up and calves hitting the cold, muddy ground. But this is the time to start planning and thinking about any spring forages that you may plant to help offset feed needs for next winter.
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[00:00:00.443]This is Amy Timmerman
with this weeks Extension Ag Update.
[00:00:04.243]It is hard to start thinking about
planting season around the corner
[00:00:07.493]with all the snow piled up and
calves hitting the cold, muddy ground.
[00:00:11.457]But this is the time to start planning
and thinking about any spring forages
[00:00:15.037]that you may plant to help
offset feed needs for next spring.
small grain cereals
[00:00:21.387]are the first things we will
consider planting this spring.
[00:00:24.208]These annual forages can be
planted when soil temperatures
[00:00:27.298]are in the 42-45 degree
[00:00:30.483]which typically occurs
late March to early April.
[00:00:33.508]As of February 12th,
the weekly average
[00:00:36.113]4-inch temperature of
bare soil ranged from
[00:00:38.718]32-35 degree Fahrenheit
according to the
[00:00:42.093]Nebraska State Climate
Office in this area.
[00:00:45.468]Careful monitoring of your
soil temperatures to optimize
[00:00:48.638]germination and overall
yield of the crop is critical.
[00:00:51.812]Depending on weather, planting dates
can either be pushed up or pushed back.
[00:00:56.454]So please refer to the Nebraska
State Climate Office or collect
[00:00:59.614]your own soil temperatures to
optimize that planting date.
[00:01:04.046]Oats are the most common
cool-season annual foraged planted.
[00:01:07.377]When planting oats as a forage,
planting rates of 2 to 3 bushels or
[00:01:12.047]76 to 114 pounds per acre
is commonly suggested.
[00:01:16.208]Research data from UNL has shown
that planting at rates greater than
[00:01:20.233]25 pounds per acre did not significantly
increase total forage yield thus
[00:01:24.897]determining that seeding rate
did not influence forage quality.
[00:01:30.017]Spring triticale and spring barley
are two other small grain options
[00:01:34.017]that have been found to perform similar to
oats in terms of forage yield and quality.
[00:01:40.355]Also days to maturity
are very similar to oats.
[00:01:43.464]Seeding rates for spring barley are 2 to
2½ bushels or 96 to 120 pounds per acre.
[00:01:49.654]With Spring triticale at 2 bushel
or about 116 pounds per acre.
[00:01:55.039]When determining varieties for
small grain cereals make sure if
[00:01:58.379]forage is primary goal that those
particular varieties are selected.
[00:02:02.711]These varieties have characteristics
very specific regarding plant height,
[00:02:07.314]leaf width, day to maturity and
overall forage yield and quality.
[00:02:12.165]Before planting the small grains,
check to make sure there isn’t
[00:02:15.841]any potential of herbicide
carryover from the previous year.
[00:02:19.841]Some products have a very
long residual and the weather
[00:02:23.183]conditions can have major impacts
on the longevity of these products.
[00:02:26.713]If there is concern, perform your
own soil-bioassay prior to planting.
[00:02:31.107]Collect enough soil
to fill a 20 ounce cup.
[00:02:33.907]Plant your small grain
of choice and observe.
[00:02:36.717]If the plants emerge without showing
signs of herbicide damage such as curling,
[00:02:41.522]yellowing or white blotches
most likely there isn’t any
to be concerned about.
[00:02:47.330]If your primary goal is to have something
for grazing prior to going to pasture,
[00:02:51.260]consider including Italian ryegrass
to the small grain cereal to
[00:02:54.890]increase the grazing period.
[00:02:57.070]Italian ryegrass grows well
following grazing and will
[00:03:00.060]continue to grow into the summer
when supplied with adequate moisture.
[00:03:04.060]An oats-Italian ryegrass mixture,
the seeding rate would be about
[00:03:08.000]60 to 80 lbs oats/acre and
15 to 20 lbs ryegrass/acre.
[00:03:14.505]Another option to consider is
field peas which have enhanced
[00:03:18.335]forage quality and provide
some nitrogen fixation.
[00:03:21.635]Field peas have been shown
to grow exceptionally well
[00:03:24.445]in Nebraska and are a
great alternative option.
[00:03:27.289]Research from an irrigated trial at
North Platte found that a mixture
[00:03:31.378]of 52 pounds/acre oats and
17 pound/acre field peas
[00:03:36.457]resulted in a forage crude
protein content of
[00:03:40.547]14% compared to 8%
crude protein of oats alone.
[00:03:44.998]In the oat-pea mixture, the peas
accounted for 25% of the total forage.
[00:03:50.308]Remember to fertilizer the annual
forages to maximize yield potential.
[00:03:55.550]Nitrogen applications should be done
according to soil test recommendations.
[00:03:59.550]Generally, nitrogen is the limiting
factor for spring planted small grains.
[00:04:03.975]For irrigated fields,
50 to 70 pounds of nitrogen
[00:04:07.575]per acre can be applied at
planting or within the first month.
[00:04:11.206]For dryland fields, nitrogen rates can be
similar if there is adequate precipitation.
[00:04:16.705]However, make sure to
check the soil test to actually
[00:04:19.735]determine how much
nitrogen is needs to be applied.
[00:04:23.475]Additional questions about planting
early season spring forages,
[00:04:27.525]please contact your
local extension office.
[00:04:30.034]This has been Amy Timmerman
with Nebraska Extension.
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