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Time To Consider A Summer Forage Crop

Article-Time To Consider A Summer Forage Crop

Make plans to utilize annual forages for summer grazing.

This is the time of the year to start thinking about annual forages as a part of the total forage program. There are plenty of high-quality forages for production. They can be used for grazing, hay silage or greenchop. Of course, summer annuals have to be produced each year, and your input costs will be higher. Summer annuals can be used to supplement permanent pastures, thus enabling better management of perennial pastures and rangeland.

Choice of plants must be based on adaptation and what type of harvest you are planning for your farm or enterprise. You basically have these choices: sudangrass, forage sorghum, grain sorghum, millet, corn, and warm-season legumes such as cow peas and annual lespedeza.

Sudangrass came into Texas in 1909; today, there are more than 100 varieties being marketed. Sudangrass grows faster and produces more total dry matter and recovers quickly from harvest. Its best use appears to be for grazing, hay, haylage and greenchop. The boot stage should normally give the highest digestibility.

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