What can I plant for hay this year?

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tom4018

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We reseeded 2 fields last fall, it came up then got dry. Long story short one filed has a fair stand and the other is very poor.

What can I plant late May or June to get some hay cut this year? It will probably be that long before I can run a no till drill across it. I know I can do soybeans but wondering what other options there are. I want to try and drill some permanent grass into it again this fall. Like to keep the costs down as much as possible since I need to reseed again in the fall. This will have to be round bales and possible covered with a tarp.
 

rollinhills

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I’ve got exactly the same problem. Sowed 35ac got little to no stand. I think I’m going to sow Sudan grass, been using pearl millet and really like it,but it doesn’t seem to hold up to traffic too well.
 

sim.-ang.king

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Sudan or millet would work. If you want a legume, you could try planting beans. They take about as long as Sudan to dry down, and are hard to handle, but make a lot of pounds of protien per acre..
 
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tom4018

tom4018

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sim.-ang.king":rq9sv14p said:
Sudan or millet would work. If you want a legume, you could try planting beans. They take about as long as Sudan to dry down, and are hard to handle, but make a lot of pounds of protien per acre..
Does mullet dry down easier than beans?
 

sim.-ang.king

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tom4018":ii2x87us said:
sim.-ang.king":ii2x87us said:
Sudan or millet would work. If you want a legume, you could try planting beans. They take about as long as Sudan to dry down, and are hard to handle, but make a lot of pounds of protien per acre..
Does mullet dry down easier than beans?
Never grown millet, just sudan, so i couldn't tell you.
 

Texasmark

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I have Foxtail as a volunteer crop....no go, no volume. I planted Pearl one year and poor response, low volume also. Last fall I planted Jumbo Rye and Austrian Winter Field peas. Cut them at 30 inches or so, flowers just starting to come out on the peas....very thick, really a mess to try to get dry in the spring.

The problem wasn't the peas, was the rye. The stems just wouldn't dry out. Baled them around the first week of April and it was obvious that even though I went to great lengths to get them dry (including running a bush hog over it and several tedder passes). Checked the roots and yes I got the N nodules with no inoculant. I wound up feeding it as it was starting to get hot and mold. Cows loved it.

Came back with Johnson Grass.....yes the "weed" and SS. Sprouts are just now sticking their heads up. I am going hay this summer and not do the last cutting, allowing the JG to mature. In the spring I will disc in the seedheads with some fertilizer and probably drill in some more SS. Giving the JG a couple of years to get established, we'll see where we go from there.

I'm finding that my quest for volume, especially in early summer maturing crops, is not in my best interest. Very hard to get the required drying for quality hay storage. That and having a perennial crop are the two reasons why I am going to JG. Other thing is it's easily managed and everything but horses love it....I have Fescue and Coastal Bermuda mix for those folks.
 

bird dog

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I finally got my cool season mix baled up this week. It consisted of mostly jumbo rye & oats with smaller amounts of elbon rye, wheat and crimson clover. After 4 days of drying it was still in the 20% moisture range. It rained on it some and then we let it dry another 3 days. A real pain but it will make excellent hay. Like yours Mark, the jumbo rye grass stems were the problem. After four days drying, you could chew on one and get a sugary moisture taste. I will go back to Gulf next year if their is seed available

It was cut at about 3 or 4 inches and has already grown back a inch or two. Weaned calves on it now and I think I can actually see them getting bigger.

I have been tossing around the Johnson grass idea for a while now but have not committed. It grows so well in this area with no imputs, I can imagine how good it would do with a little management. Let us know how it goes please sir.
 

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