|Department of Agronomy > Agronomy Extension|
Pasture Issues & Answers
Q: Slow regrowth for hay cut in April?
A: Too late of harvest last year?
Alfalfa weevil feeding on first growth or regrowth?
I would not harvest second cutting from these alfalfa stands prior to very early flower.
Q: Prussic Acid in Sorghum Sudangrass?
A: In the bit of literature that I did read, I saw no reference of wet feet or low N, which I presume to be the cause of the great difference of growth in the field, listed as a prime cause of prussic acid poisoning. Keep in mind, as is apparent by your question, that less mature (less stalk) sorghum does have more potential of concern than sorghum with more mature sorghum. If the majority of the field is 5 feet tall in height, I would have a watchful eye as a sub-sample of the livestock are turned on to the pasture. Animals should be turned on to the pasture after being fed other forage resources so as not to "pig out" on the sorghum- sudangrass.
Q: Horses & grass hay variety selection
A: Frankly, I see no real reason for a mixture of the two grasses, but if it is done seed selection is critically important. The orchardgrass should be a late-maturing variety and the timothy should be an early-maturing variety. N use will be dependent upon an appropriate yield goal and to a lesser degree whether the stand is pure or a mixture of the grasses.
Q: Testing Silage
A: With the situation described, I would collect random green chop samples, keeping the samples cool during the day of collection. You may wish to combine the samples into one large sample, or consider having 3 or 4 samples, each representing 10-13 acres, to note variation among the several samples. I would freeze the subsamples, no more than a half gallon per subsample is necessary, before shipping to the laboratory in, preferably an insulated shipping container. Ship the sample on Monday to make sure that it doesn't sit in some mail office for a couple of days. I would consider A&L Laboratories in Ft. Wayne, Sure-Tech Laboratory, associated with the cooperative system, or the lab that the producer uses for their samples. I would also encourage that other hybrids be harvested at a similar stage of maturity so comparisons can be made. Use the same lab.
Dr. Tim Johnson, Purdue Animal Science, recommends two methods:
There are two methods of testing post fermentation silage quality.
Q: Eliminating Fescue without tillage
A: What has worked well for at the Southern Indiana Purdue Ag Center is to apply Roundup on 6 inches or so of active growth in early fall. At greenup time in the spring, apply Roundup to missed or incomplete kill areas. The conservative approach is to then seed a summer-annual like sorghum-sudangrass, sudangrass, or pearl millet in mid to late May and utilize it as pasture or silage. In early August assess whether the
If the summer-annual is not desired, one will have more risk of fescue encroachment if seeding occurs in the spring.
Bottom line-Make sure the fescue is dead before seeding the next crop.
For your pondering:
A: by Kern Hendrix, Beef Specialist
At our beef unit here at Purdue we've used it for years. We've did about everything from re-chopping and blowing into a silo to bagging until we finally wised up this year and just dumped it in piles and quit spending all the effort. If packed, it will likely ferment and ensile. If not, some will ferment and some will mold. The longer one wants to have it around, the more effort one must spend to keep it preserved.
In most cases it will have a nutritional value similar to whole plant corn silage. That means it's higher in energy than hay, but has less protein. TDN will be in the 65-70 % range, and protein in the 7-8% range. Thus, if used as a major portion of the diet, supplemental protein will be needed. A guideline would be to supplement 1 lb daily per head of soybean meal or 40 % supplement when feeding shucklage. One could also use a blend of hay and shucklage; say 10 lbs of hay and the balance shucklage. Assuming the hay has at least 12 plus protein, there would be no need for additional protein.
One thing to watch out for when feeding shucklage to beef cows is over conditioning. If allowed to consume all they want, they could easily become too fleshy. So be alert to that.
If you can provide me more details regarding the type of cattle operation you're dealing with, I can get more specific. Otherwise these are the general principles to follow.
A: A spring seeding of a winter small grain will produce significantly less straw because the crop was not vernalized. There are some spring triticale (manmade cross between wheat and rye) varieties that have been sown in the spring for forage purposes. The seed will be much more costly than an autumn seeding of winter rye and will mature at a later date than the winter rye.
Ag Nation Products may be an appropriate vendor for further discussion about performance of the triticale for the stated purpose. http://www.agnation.com
Q: Bromegrass for horses?
A: I was amused by your statement "He says most prefer timothy hay." Is "most" the horses or the owners of the horses? I'll bet the latter.