I live in Indiana and was wondering about teff as a hay crop for beef cows. I planted pearl millet after wheat last year and was going to plant some earlier this year but read an article on teff it sounds much better. Thanks for you advice.
Have you been looking at the Tiffany Teff...thats what I was looking at.. I am curious also, they did not test in our area, but N and S they did, looked unbelievable. I was also looking at the pearl millet...how did that do for you? must have done okay if you are considering repeating.
Pearl millet did fine I planted at the recommended rate. My friend sowed it at a rate of 20lbs and it was much finer stemed. He also worked his ground. I just thought Teff looked better and was hoping for some advice.
Although our conditions probably couldn't be more different, I have experience with both millet and teff. Under irrigation millet will yield twice as much with a single cut than teff will in two cuts and I never got more than two cuts from teff.
As a grazing grass teff is useless as its so tough it gets pulled out by cattle so if haymaking conditions isn't ideal the millet would be more flexible in my opinion.
About the only advantage I can think of that teff have over millet is the time it takes to cure.
We got as high as 5.1 tons with four cuttings. On poor ground it ran out of energy with two cuttings. The best way we found was to use a brllion to seed, but did OK with a broadcaster. The seed is very small and the seed we used was coated. Still the broadcaster would only throw it about 6 feet. All I did was to roll it after seeding. It will grow just laying on the ground, but best to roll it. I thought is was fairly drought tolerant, I let some dry out, but it took off when waterd. just won't grow much when let dry. Once it takes off it really grows fast. You have to watch that it doesn't start to fall down. It will not take a freeze. Once it freezes it's done and turns brown fast. It takes a sharp blade to cut, so if your sections are dull you will have to cut slowly. It is a fine blade grass and will lay tight together and is hard to dry the heavy clumps. You may rake it three times unless you have a tedder or a rake that will fluff it up enough to get air. It makes good hay. I think the average protein was 18% not sure. I did graze it after cutting. It has a fine shallow root and like KNERSIE said cows will pull a lot of it up. I thought it was a good rotation crop, but not worth working the ground every year to plant. Good luck!