Winter rye, oats, turnip mix ?

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kickinbull

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pdfangus":3rjw9f33 said:
I like to add the rape because it is nearly as deep rooted as the tillage radish and does not winter kill like the radish does...
you like deep rooted try okra!
 

pdfangus

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I tried okra in my mix this summer...just for the deep rooted nature.

I didn't get much germination...or maybe I did and it all died due to the dry weather....but I have zero okra in the plots I planted...now I do broadcast my seed and try to run over it with some combination of a bushog and either a spike tooth aerator or dragging tires...

I have been shopping planting devices for my little slice of heaven and just can not bring my self to pay the amount of money they are wanting to plant a couple of acres of cover crops...
 

jdg

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I've been planting mixed species annual forages since visiting Gabe Brown's farm five years ago. I started with high diversity mixes (10-15 species) and have winnowed down to the varieties i've had the most success with. Here in south GA, in the summer I use Pearl Millet, sunn hemp, cowpea, and crabgrass. Used BMR sorghum sudan until the sugarcane aphids wiped me out. For fall/winter grazing, Oats and T-raptor hybrid brassica (turnip/rape), and for winter/early spring, I use Ryegrass,oats, triticale, t-raptor, crimson clover, hairy vetch and arrowleaf clover. Back when the winters were harder, I used more cereal rye than oats, but I haven't had an issue with winterkill down here, and the oats grow well early and I can get a little better ADG. I've given up on winterpea. Ryegrass is amazing, til early summer when it won't go away. I only get my grazing worth out of the legumes if I stockpile them into early spring. They grow like crazy late, but I don't get the multiple grazings like i would out of the Oat/T-raptor mix. Grazed that 4 times one fall/spring. The key to the brassicas is timed grazing. If you turn those cows loose on a field of brassicas, they turn loose. ADG's hit the cellar. We usually drill everything around 1/2" with good moisture.
 

jdg

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Picture of oats/t-raptor right before grazing...followed by a diverse mix that was dominated by sod buster radish. The amount of biomass produced was epic, on just 50 units N for the entire season.



 
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Stocker Steve

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jdg said:
I've been planting mixed species annual forages since visiting Gabe Brown's farm five years ago.
I've given up on winterpea. quote]

What was your strongest impression of Gabe' grow your own fertilizer efforts?

Do you see any practical limit to his approach over time?

Why did you give up on winter peas? Many brag up N fixation and low cost seed.
 

jdg

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Steve-

I've worked with Gabe first hand putting together a conference down here in Ga, and my impression of him as a person is hardworking, matter-of-fact, and no-nonsense. If I did not know him from Adam, I would've doubted some of his results featured in the powerpoints. Dakota soils and it's climate are much different from mine here in the South, but the principles still apply. I believe using mixed species grazing, on mixed species cover crops, managed properly, can improve soils quicker than any other treatment. (I only graze cattle personally, because i presently just don't need another headache.) But one needs to adhere to the 4 principles of soil health to accomplish this: 1. always keep soil covered 2. minimize disturbance (physical and chemical) 3. grow diversity 4. allow for rest/recovery.

You can't cold turkey commercial fertilizer and expect not to have a train wreck though. You have to re-train your soil biology and be in it for the long haul. I don't see any practical limitations over time, just the opposite.

I've had way more success here with Hairy Vetch and Crimson Clover than winter peas. The only time my winter peas did anything was after everything else had gone to seed in May, they finally shot up and grew.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Each area of the country is different. We can not double crop well in the north, so there are two main cover crop options:

1) only plant short season crops (oats, silage corn...)
2) spray out grass in June, and then seed cover crop into the sod
 

Banjo

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Stocker Steve":3sg1jh7x said:
Each area of the country is different. We can not double crop well in the north, so there are two main cover crop options:

1) only plant short season crops (oats, silage corn...)
2) spray out grass in June, and then seed cover crop into the sod

How does Ky 31 fescue do in Minnesota or does it grow up there?
 
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Stocker Steve

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Improved meadow fescue thins out after about 4 to 5 years.
Improved tall fescue will winter kill, or at least burn back hard, in an open winter.
No K 31 planted in my area.

The more vigorous fall growth from improved fescue varieties seems to doom them during a tough artic vortex winter. So they are OK in an alfalfa mix (and last about the same amount of time), but not OK in a long term mix. I call it the Alfalfa (Death) Partner.
 

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