planting Johnson grass early

Discuss grasses and how to grow and harvest them.
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planting Johnson grass early

Post by bird dog » Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:24 pm

Turner seed shows Johnson grass and Sorghum Almum can be planted at just about any time. 8-15 to 6-1.

Has anybody planted this in the winter? I currently have oats in the pasture where I am trying to get a good stand and I am thinking about letting the cows graze it down short and going ahead and no till drilling the seed. Just to get something done before the spring rush.

The cows rotate of this area every 40 days or so.

Last year I put out Sorghum Almum in strips in April and it did pretty good. That was my test plot.



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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by pricefarm » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:02 pm

Where did you get Johnson grass seed? I didn’t realize you could even buy it.

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by kenny thomas » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:06 pm

pricefarm wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:02 pm
Where did you get Johnson grass seed? I didn’t realize you could even buy it.
Legal to buy in some states. Illegal here in VA
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by bird dog » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:22 pm

Is sorghum almum also illegal in VA?

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by kenny thomas » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:25 pm

bird dog wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:22 pm
Is sorghum almum also illegal in VA?
Never heard of it. Let me look.
Yes it is restricted also.
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by Post Oak » Sun Feb 09, 2020 5:56 am

I have thought about planting Johnsongrass (if I can get seed) or sorghum alum on two different spots that I have this spring when it dries up.These spots are a hillside seep and an old bay that stay wet from November to May. I was curious as to how they would do on that type land.
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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by Texasmark » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:36 am

pricefarm wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:02 pm
Where did you get Johnson grass seed? I didn’t realize you could even buy it.
I won't tell you my source but I have a supplier. In a conversation with that producer/distributor, who regularly ships products to my favorite retail farm store, he said that he has it in stock even though his www lists it as out of stock. He said, as mentioned in replies herein, that it is outlawed in some states........one man's trash is another's gold.........

Seems every forage you even think about planting, the BOO BIRDS come out of the woodwork. The !@#$%^&* cows have to eat something! You are in the haying business and try to grow something that somebody will buy. Every time you talk about this grass or that grass here comes the OH NO, I can't feed that, bla bla.

Well my main customer ASKED ME for JG as he and I understand the when to and when not tos with the forage and it's a win win.......especially when you think about low N requirement to grow and high TDN and all......plus it's sweet, like sudan sorghums that he buys and they prefer them, while treating other forages like oh well, nothing else available and I'm hungry so I guess I will eat that.....Coastal, Rye, Fescue mix.

I was going to plant some Switchgrass this spring which is also sweet and has other good attributes till I read that it's TOXIC to horses and my customers have horses too. OMG, another missed opportunity.

My suggestion to you is to pull up some of the www JG listings that have "out of stock" postings and contact them. They might just be doing what my supplier does, or may have the seed ready and available later in the season.

Final comment. We don't have any thousand acre farm-ranches around here so a BTO isn't very big. But lots of folks feed JG and SS in hooped, un-attended round bales to their cattle and more often than not you will see a horse or two right along side. Never saw nor heard of one dead or having a vet out to solve a Colic problem! My main customer has 2 such that eat my hay.

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by Texasmark » Sun Feb 09, 2020 7:46 am

bird dog wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 7:24 pm
Turner seed shows Johnson grass and Sorghum Almum can be planted at just about any time. 8-15 to 6-1.

Has anybody planted this in the winter? I currently have oats in the pasture where I am trying to get a good stand and I am thinking about letting the cows graze it down short and going ahead and no till drilling the seed. Just to get something done before the spring rush.

The cows rotate of this area every 40 days or so.

Last year I put out Sorghum Almum in strips in April and it did pretty good. That was my test plot.
Reading between the lines on posted planting directions, referrals are to when to plant to get immediate germination, not when to plant so that the seed won't rot in the ground.

I had this farm for 40 years, and every time I put steel in the ground I find a new weed/grass that I didn't plant. JG seeds itself in the year it's grown, seed heads are prolific and some will wind up in/on the ground at the end of the growing season. Some of those seeds sprout the next season and some are covered with soil like when fields are prepared for an annual crop like Sorghum-Sudan, and they are too deep to sprout....like over an inch deep. But the next year or 5 years down the road, they may be uncovered to the point where they will sprout that spring.

With that said, I will be at my local farm store Monday to order my seed for the year and upon receiving it, it will go into the ground as soon as weather permits. Since we are having a warmer than usual winter and forecast spring, I expect to see plants maybe as early as March whereas usually it's late April, but even then would be just fine.

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by 10-e-c-dirtfarmer » Sun Feb 09, 2020 9:47 am

pricefarm wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:02 pm
Where did you get Johnson grass seed? I didn’t realize you could even buy it.
Alabama Farmers Cooperative stocked Jgrass several year ago, I drove to Decatur, and brought back several bags for neighbors. Theirs came from a Texas seed co.

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by pricefarm » Sun Feb 09, 2020 12:24 pm

I guess if you had a entire field of it it would be ok. Here it comes up in spots and by the time the fescue is ready to mow for hay the JG is already seeded out and past it’s prime. Cows love to graze it. My cows will it JG before anything else in the pasture.

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by bird dog » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:50 pm

I wouldn't worry to much about the quality on the seeded out plants. Around here it starts seeding early and continues all summer and into the fall. The cows do love it. I watched the cows late last summer when I turned them into a small patch. Some of the cows would take the whole seed head into their mouth and then tilt their head back to strip off all the seeds leaving the stem.
And you wonder how it gets all over the farm. :nod:

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by chaded » Sun Feb 09, 2020 4:30 pm

I love me some johnsongrass. We are probably around 50% on our 30 acre hayfield. Here, we take the first cutting of cool seasons off and it isn’t Too much longer the johnsongrass starts coming and I get a big grin on my face. I wish that noxious weed would hurry up and take the place over. Lol.

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by Texasmark » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:05 am

bird dog wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:50 pm
I wouldn't worry to much about the quality on the seeded out plants. Around here it starts seeding early and continues all summer and into the fall. The cows do love it. I watched the cows late last summer when I turned them into a small patch. Some of the cows would take the whole seed head into their mouth and then tilt their head back to strip off all the seeds leaving the stem.
And you wonder how it gets all over the farm. :nod:
Seed heads and stems, plants changing from growth mode to mature making for poor quality.??????? Taking a grass that likes to stem early, like Common Bermuda, Bahia, JG, Foxtail Millet, and Fescue, to name a few of which I am aware, probably could add Switch grass and Love, Blue Stem for a few more, Reading the readily available published reports on what, when, and how, affecting hay quality and cutting when "the boot stage starts to appear", you'd have your mower out every week and all your grass would be lying on the ground as it would be too short for the baler to pick it up, especially if you are rolling.

JG runs double digits in food value even with no added fertilizer and cattle are ruminants. Check the cow poop after a couple of days in a JG patch. What do you see, or better yet what do you NOT see. Seeds contain what the main plant may have lost. Stems are small. Cows eat it as a preference vs something that may be a hot-dog grass and they turn their noses up at it and just stomp it to death picking at it.......aka a winter pasture that you worked up investing time and money and they come in and run the fences first, stomping all over everything, then decide that they can't get out so they might as well do something else, so they pick at the winter crop....take a bite and 3-4 steps and 2 bites and run across to the other side thinking a sibling has found something wonderful.

Meanwhile the JG hayed herd is lying down, eyes closed, merrily chewing their cud and you didn't have to put out all the effort and expense for nothing....especially when you have a wet winter!

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by SDM » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:43 am

This field is a volunteer stand. The right management can encourage it. This would be the fourth cutting on this field last year. Like mentioned the first one is mostly fescue and a little OG.
Image

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Re: planting Johnson grass early

Post by chaded » Mon Feb 10, 2020 7:46 am

SDM wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:43 am
This field is a volunteer stand. The right management can encourage it. This would be the fourth cutting on this field last year. Like mentioned the first one is mostly fescue and a little OG.
Image
What are you doing to manage it?

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