Source: AgriLife Today
Stockpiling forages and feeding small grains crops year-round can help cattle producers offset the higher costs of hay. Small grains forage crops should be planted six to eight weeks prior to the first frost of winter.
Dr. Larry Redmon, Extension program leader and associate department head for soil and crop sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, said small grains pastures can also help add weight to stocker calves.
When planting ryegrass in the South Central zone, Redmon recommends 55 pounds to the acre and letting stands grow until May before beef cattle grazing. Another option, clover, can help save dollars on nitrogen application by releasing it naturally into the soil. Redmon said clover can help save nitrogen expense at about 60 cents per pound of nitrogen.
Dr. Tony Provin, AgriLife Extension soil chemist in College Station, provided an overview on soil health; heavy rainfall this spring has brought an onslaught of weeds.
Provin said producers need to be mindful of Ph levels in soils and should consider distributing limestone to offset deficiencies. To stay on top of soil health, Provin advised taking annual soil tests to monitor Ph levels.
The annual forage field day event is coordinated by AgriLife Extension in conjunction with area Extension county offices and the Brazos Area Hay Producers Association.
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.