A ? for you guys in the southern states

Help Support CattleToday:

Angus Cowman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
7,157
Reaction score
0
Location
the Great State of Mental Distress ( Florida)
I read about you guys planting rye grass for a winter pasture what is the cost per acre on this?

Also do any of you plant cereal rye (such as cool grazer)for winter pasture and hay or will it not produce in your area?

In our area it produces alot of forage and alot of hay per acre,some yrs I can get upwards of 5 tons per acre of hay off of it most yrs the average is 3 tons pr acre

I would think with your mild winters it would do great
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,444
Reaction score
220
Location
Central Texas
I suppose in much of the state ryegrass could be considered and invasive weed grass in small grains. But for grazing cattle it is very resilient. Moisture and fertilizer is about all you need. In our area it can be grazed hard thru early May and still make enough seed to reseed itself. Pretty much can just toss it out on the ground and it will grow given enough rain and cool temperatures.

Best I can recall it began showing up in the area in the early '70s. I think the highway department was planting it along right-of-ways under construction. But about the same time Dad started planting winter wheat to graze and then he combined in the spring and he fed it to hogs. Kind of a dual purpose crop. A lot of ours might have came in the wheat seed but it spread over the entire area so fast it had to be spread mostly along the highways. It didn't take long to realize it wasn't such a bad thing to have around.

Cost to plant, I think seed is about 50 cents a pound. (didn't buy any this year so that is a guess). If you plant into a tilled seedbed a pure stand I would plant about 25 - 30 lbs an acre. Fertilizer is pretty much the same as for oats. It's best use is to inter-seed with existing pastures. Broadcasting on top of the ground rates range from 10 - 30 lbs. Depends on how thick of a stand you want. If you get it to thick it can crowd out other grasses and clovers. In the fall of '07 I pasture drilled 10 lbs. per acre and I believe every seed came up. Just didn't get the moisture in the spring for it to do it's thing. Skimping on the fertilizer didn't help either. Keep it grazed down in the spring and it won't hurt or delay the warm seasons grasses much. Let it grow uncontrolled and it will ruin a good pasture. Best hay I've made was a mixture of bermuda, ryegrass and burr clover. A few years back I got around 3 tons an acre of pure rygrass hay per acre after grazing it. Fertilizer was cheap(er) then and it was one of our wetter years. I believe that year Dad had some oats that topped out at 4 1/2 - 5 foot. Leaf blades were an inch wide. Amazing year. (Someone ran out of fertilizer halfway thru spreading) :???:

About it's only drawback would be not much early fall grazing. That is why I plant oats and monitor how much ryegrass reseeds in the spring. If I think I need to I'll add ryegrass seed in the fall when planting oats. The oats is usually ready to graze by Thanksgiving and starts to play out in late March just about the time the ryegrass starts to put on its show. Keeps the grazing going till the end of May.

Tod Dague":1f2xd00h said:
If we get rain it's almost like growing your own gold. :nod:

Got to agree with that.
 

Beefy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
8,754
Reaction score
0
Location
Georgia
rye, ryegrass, wheat, oats... just depends on the seed availability/cost.
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
1
Location
South Georgia
Angus Cowman":27ixupso said:
I would think with your mild winters it would do great

It all depends on moisture. I plant ryegrass in the pastures, rye in the fields. Its kinda hit and miss. This year hasn't been very good for us. We had some moisture but the temperature has been bouncing around a lot and I think this is messing with the growth. Doing this for grazing is one thing and for hay is another. To me, the problem with doing this for hay is about the time its ready to cut for hay then the spring rains come and you might have to put it up as baleage. I prefer not to do this.

The cost of doing the rye right, will cost you $100+/acre and you best get a 100 days of grazing or you are going to go in the hole.
 
OP
A

Angus Cowman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
7,157
Reaction score
0
Location
the Great State of Mental Distress ( Florida)
Jogeephus":j6672w1h said:
Angus Cowman":j6672w1h said:
I would think with your mild winters it would do great

It all depends on moisture. I plant ryegrass in the pastures, rye in the fields. Its kinda hit and miss. This year hasn't been very good for us. We had some moisture but the temperature has been bouncing around a lot and I think this is messing with the growth. Doing this for grazing is one thing and for hay is another. To me, the problem with doing this for hay is about the time its ready to cut for hay then the spring rains come and you might have to put it up as baleage. I prefer not to do this.

The cost of doing the rye right, will cost you $100+/acre and you best get a 100 days of grazing or you are going to go in the hole.
I can usually get 60-70 days of grazing off of it and then bale it the fist of may,I also have about 15 acres that I get about 120-140 days off of because I don't bale it I turn my calves in on it after weaning in the spring
I also use it for wildlife in the winter deer love the rye and the birds do great on the edges all summer
and my cost pr acre runs about$115-$120 with fuel and fertilizer
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
1
Location
South Georgia
Our weather is really kinda funky here. In the fall, it normally turns off dry. Good for getting crops in but bad from the point of establishing grazing. If we have a rainy fall, you can't touch our grazing cause it will grow like there is no tommorrow but this is a rarity. Best grazing I can remember was during the last El Nino. You could not have enough cows to keep things eaten down. It was miserable in all other aspects but the cows loved it.

I really don't know what the best winter grazing is here. I'm still experimenting. I got some ideas I picked up off the board that I'm going to try next year. Really wish we could grow some fescue but its just too hot. At the moment, based on my pencil, I can grow and feed good hay cheaper than I can provide winter grazing. Normally we sure can grow the hay.
 
OP
A

Angus Cowman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
7,157
Reaction score
0
Location
the Great State of Mental Distress ( Florida)
Jogeephus":318yu1te said:
Our weather is really kinda funky here. In the fall, it normally turns off dry. Good for getting crops in but bad from the point of establishing grazing. If we have a rainy fall, you can't touch our grazing cause it will grow like there is no tommorrow but this is a rarity. Best grazing I can remember was during the last El Nino. You could not have enough cows to keep things eaten down. It was miserable in all other aspects but the cows loved it.

I really don't know what the best winter grazing is here. I'm still experimenting. I got some ideas I picked up off the board that I'm going to try next year. Really wish we could grow some fescue but its just too hot. At the moment, based on my pencil, I can grow and feed good hay cheaper than I can provide winter grazing. Normally we sure can grow the hay.

I agree with the feeding hay cheaper than the grazing but on the rye I also hay it so that helps with the cost plus The wildlife around here really need the extra also and that is a major part of our management

actually just got in from taking a count on deer with the conservation officer 1 field we had 33 in and at least 10 were bucks another we had 21 in and the third we had 42 so our management is paying off 3yrs ago we wouldn't have seen 10-15 total,
last yr we took a 162" buck and this yr a lady took a 155" 3yr old buck also the avg for this area is about 125" and we have several that will do that at an early age now
 

Beefy

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2004
Messages
8,754
Reaction score
0
Location
Georgia
i like to plant both wheat and rye. it seems like if one doesnt do well the other will. we plant ours late on account of late harvests so it is considerably cheaper by the time i get ready for it.
 
OP
A

Angus Cowman

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 12, 2008
Messages
7,157
Reaction score
0
Location
the Great State of Mental Distress ( Florida)
Jogeephus":2prbd9i2 said:
AC, do you ever plant anything for birds. Dove quail?
yes I plant foxtail millet and another mix of small grains
when I started we could only find 1 covey of quail with about 6 birds now I can show you 6 different coveys and they avg 12-15 birds also
I do alot of spraying on some of the small plots and kill all the fescue and just let it grow back in WSG and weeds also spray all the fencerows along the food plots and that helps alot , planted 6 acres of sunflowers last yr
 

Douglas

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
885
Reaction score
4
Location
Central North Carolina
I think you also need to consider that the quality of the forage is much better than typical hay. My cows calve in Feb. and March. For a number of years I have had 100% of my cow’s calves on time with healthy calves. I do very little else in terms cattle health besides provide minerals. I think part of the reason is the nutrition of the rye/ryegrass/clover I provide before and after calving keeps the cows in great shape at a critical time. The most important months for good nutrition are the two months before and after calving. Ryegrass is really the backbone of my spring nutrition.
 

Jogeephus

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
24,228
Reaction score
1
Location
South Georgia
Douglas":3amxa98f said:
I think you also need to consider that the quality of the forage is much better than typical hay. My cows calve in Feb. and March. For a number of years I have had 100% of my cow’s calves on time with healthy calves. I do very little else in terms cattle health besides provide minerals. I think part of the reason is the nutrition of the rye/ryegrass/clover I provide before and after calving keeps the cows in great shape at a critical time. The most important months for good nutrition are the two months before and after calving. Ryegrass is really the backbone of my spring nutrition.

This is probably a regional issue and where the board is a good source for ideas even though what I do may not be right for you and vice versa. I agree with you about typical hay and I agree with you about the ryegrass. It is wonderful stuff. Other things like rye wheat and oats are excellent forages too. While I'm not saying I don't plant them for their benefits I will say I can't count on them. A good friend of mine is in a terrible bind this year. He is a master of perenial forage production but something happened this year and he doesn't have squat in terms of grazing and this is the backbone of his operation. What he normally does is to put the cows on a rye field for 28 days and rotates them through the winter. This year he is only getting 10 days of grazing and is now having to supplement them and buy hay. The money he spent on the forages could have bought a lot of hay. Now he is having to spend money on both.

I've had bad luck with winter grazing several times. Just can't really make it work consistantly. For instance, if I spent $120/acre on winter grazing this year, I would be lucky to get 50 days of continuous grazing off it. (Did I mention this year was aweful?) Anyhow, the same expense would net me 3.2 tons of feed quality hay 12%-14%. At a consumption rate of 40 lbs/day this provides a 160 days of feed for a cow at a cost of $0.75/day. This compared to a cost of $2.40/day on rye - based on 50 days.

What I try to do is to plan for the worst and build up my hay supplies. Then I hope for the best and plant a percentage of the land in winter grazing. Of course I'm still experimenting with all sorts of things cause I surely don't know the right answer and I'm afraid if I did; I'd lose interest in cattle and start raising goats or something else. :lol2:
 

Douglas

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
885
Reaction score
4
Location
Central North Carolina
^ You are right Jogeephus that weather conditions can foul up the best laid plans. In my case the cold weather we had here in Nov. eliminated much of my fall grazing of rye and I had to buy more hay than otherwise. The year before drought was a problem. In my case, I figure the ryegrass component pretty much covers the cost in the March-May time period so even if the fall/winter part does not work out the spring part at lease covers my cost. This ensures I can hay my fescue fields. Spring ryegrass is pretty reliable here and most years I get a cutting of hay as well. Rye only i think is very costly and less reliable. This year I added a small test plot of oats planted in early August. Was surprised at the heat tolerance and low cost production. I might have had $40 per acre and stockpiled till December.
 

1982vett

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
Messages
9,444
Reaction score
220
Location
Central Texas
I'll say this winters forage program is the first failure that I can remember. We've had some get off to a slow start in the fall, some that played out to early in the spring and summer is always iffy. Never had one go bust start to finish till now.
 

Latest posts

Top