Forage News by Barenbrug

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Kickin' Clods with Rick Freston - Fall is Coming

With the dog days of summer and the long hot days of wheat harvest quickly coming to an end it might be time to start thinking about your pasture. It is important to establish your pasture conditions… are they in good shape, fair shape or just plain worn out?


If pastures are in good shape and you are happy with your existing species and varieties that is great and most likely the fields won’t need attention this fall. Now if things are in fair shape, maybe not worn out but their most productive days are behind them, it might be time to look at doing some interseeding or a fairly minor renovation. It might not be time to get the plow out but we do need to upgrade and make our pastures more productive for next season. This could be as minor as broadcasting some seed into our existing stand or possibly doing some no-till or other mildly invasive seeding procedure. We don’t want to destroy what we have - we just want to help it out a little and get it back to peak production.


Some might find that their pasture is just plain worn out it is time to do a full blown new seeding job. This can be as complicated as plowing, harrowing, etc. and making multiple tillage trips across the field to simply applying herbicide and waiting for our weeds to die and no-tilling in our new seed. These are two extreme options, chances are you are going to be somewhere in the middle. Some tillage and some herbicide. No matter your situation it is imperative that you create an environment where you give your seed every opportunity to germinate and prosper. Remember, seed just needs GOOD contact with the soil, how you accomplish that is your choice.


Now that we have reviewed some of the basics of establishing our new or upgraded pasture, let us look at our seed choices and what is best for our particular situation.


First we can examine what I refer to as the casual pasture. Maybe you run a few head of cattle late in the season after making a cutting of hay earlier in the season. Although BarOptima PLUS E34 would be a great choice for this situation you may not be able to fully utilize the benefits of such a premium product.


On the other hand, if you are a grazer who uses pastures to their maximum profit potential or an operator who makes a living with grass then BarOptima PLUS E34 is the product for you. The beneficial endophyte in BarOptima PLUS E34 allows the longevity and persistence of K-31 without the harmful effects of toxic endophyte. You really cannot go wrong with all the benefits of endophyte without the problems associated with harmful endophytes.


When it is time to redo your pastures check the facts on the Fescue choice that you make. There might be less expensive products available (there always are) but I doubt that you can buy a better Fescue seed at any price. Before you plant do a little research, our University conducted research trials tell the tale.


Lookin’ forward to fall

The Clod Kicker