By Daren Redfearn, Jerry Volesky and Bruce Anderson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension
There are (and should be) variable growth and production patterns for forage cover crops. Since forage cover crops are planted following grain crop production, their growth is influenced by the amount of light penetration (affected by residue amount), water availability (including soil moisture plus precipitation), appropriate growth temperature (planting date and accumulated growing degree days), and soil fertility (residual N and availability of nutrients). Based on the grain crop they follow, any combination of these conditions can limit forage cover crop growth.
By Dr. Megan Clayton, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
As the holiday festivities have almost come and gone, those of us who are used to spending time outdoors may become a little bit stir-crazy! Even though the plants may be dormant, our management practices do not have to be. Below are some winter practices to consider for land and livestock improvement.
By Mitch Stephenson, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension
Year-round cattle grazing is an important management consideration in the Nebraska Sandhills and western Nebraska. With proper protein and mineral supplementation, cattle can be successfully grazed on dormant winter forage without high inputs of harvested feeds.
The summer of 2015 will long be remembered for the consistency and amount of rainfall received. This was a great benefit for the crop farmer, but made life exceedingly difficult for the hay farmer. With all this rain I saw many pastures that were “soggy” all summer. Bahiagrass is a durable and highly persistent grass that can tolerate periodic flooding.
Temperatures are expected to fall below freezing across much of Arkansas by this weekend, which should prompt cattle producers to use caution before allowing livestock to graze fields of johnsongrass. Prussic acid (hydrocyanic acid) can result from the frost and can be toxic to the livestock.
By Victor Shelton, NRCS State Agronomist/Grazing Specialist
The fall grass is a little greener after some small rain showers in late October. It is always surprising how fast grass responds to a little bit of water. I didn’t take the time to actually take any clippings, but after two small rains, which together totaled more than I’d had since July, the regrowth was very obvious and I would guestimate an increase of 400-500 pounds of dry matter per acre where, of course, good stop grazing heights were maintained.