Fall and Winter Forage

“The oats will give you your fall and early winter grazing, from about mid-November ‘til February and March, and then the rye grass will kick in, and if it doesn’t get real warm, it’ll carry you all the way to May.”

Andy Scasta says the oats and rye grass seed are blended together along with a good dose of fertilizer. The gamble is on how soon you plant.

“We’ve gone on and planted winter forages. We dry planted them so we’d have them in the ground, so they would be there for the fall rains to come up for our grazing on into the end of the year.”

One big fear is having a hot dry spell after the oats and rye grass seeds have germinated and come up.

“We got them in there and then I think we got a quarter or a half an inch of rain or something and it brought them up good, and brought all the rye grass up and it was shiny green and almost a week and a half later with no rain and hot, beck to ninety degree temperatures you could see it just turning shades of green and just wilting over.”

The latest rain and cooler temperatures arrived in the nick of time, but more than the Scasta’s cattle had their eyes on fall forage.

“But now the other thing we’ve had is army worms. We’ve already had to spray for army worms.”

Scasta is hopeful that some a good crop of winter and early spring forage will help offset the cost and shortage of hay.

“As high as the hay is, right now it could be very helpful to have winter forages and not have to depend on eighty, seventy five, eighty dollar round bales.”

Agricultural producers gamble against Mother Nature all year long. I’m Joe Brown, tracing the journey our food and fiber takes, From the Ground Up.

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