With wheat harvest starting in some areas and adequate moisture available, double cropping wheat ground for additional forage or to extend the grazing season is real possibility this year. A variety of different crops can be utilized in a double cropping system following wheat harvest depending on what type of forage you need.
If additional silage is what you are after, forage sorghum and sorghum hybrids may be your best option in terms of yield potential. Short season corn is certainly a possibility, although yields likely won’t be very high. Sunflowers also may be an option for short season silage. Sunflowers typically will survive a light frost and generally yield well under a variety of conditions.
If you are needing hay rather than silage, pearl millet, foxtail millet, or sorghum-sudan hybrids may be a possibility. Also consider small
cereal grains like oats planted in early- to mid-August. One to two tons of forage per acre is possible if soil fertility is adequate and rains are timely.
Be sure to consider turnips, as well as oats planted between mid-July and mid-August for fall pasture this year. With some extra moisture in August and September both oats and turnips can provide excellent grazing at little cost in a relatively short time frame.
Although fall seems to be a long ways away, mid-July is the time to start planning for your fall forage program. Many options exist it’s just a matter of choosing the right forage that works for you.
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