Key to Growing Effective Forages
Weather. Mother nature can come into play. Do we know if it will be hot or cold? Are we going to have a wet season or dry? Weather always is the biggest unknown.
Nitrogen. The right place, the right time, the right way on nitrogen. The demand for nitrogen is not at planting but typically 3-5 weeks post planting. You need to have available nitrogen in the root zone. Time released nitrogen can be of benefit. There is also benefits for nitrogen previously fixated.
Genetics. Depending on the forage one plants there can be big advantages with genetics that have better disease or insect resistance. Some varieties have yield advantages because of those two factors as well as the genetic selection.
Previous Crop. We see benefits by previously planted crops that fixate nitrogen, scavenge nutrients or who offer allelopathic properties.
Plant Population. Many forages do better with denser stands. The exception being bulb heavy mixes or pure bulb stands
Tillage. Every time you till the soil you lose up to .60” inch of rain equivalent. You also can cause a negative affect when you reduce the soil surface residue. Fragmenting the soil can hard soil structure as well as affect the soil microbial environment.
Growth Regulators. Fungicides, Sulfur, Micronutrients, and soil microbial enhancements are all positive in the outcome of whatever one plants.
Make Roots. Having available phosphorous at planting as well as other root enhancing agents help create the plant powerhouse. Some inoculants come with natural growth promoters.
In a world of seed solutions, I want people to realize that seed is just a small part of the equation. There are things beyond our control but many things we can control. We can tilt the table in our own favor to achieve success.