Forage issues and hay shortage in Missouri

The effect of a long cold winter and long cold early spring on forage green-up in Missouri is adding to the stress of cattle producers. MU Extension’s Craig Roberts tells Brownfield the lack of forage yield is putting more pressure on the already low hay supply.

Roberts says there are troubles ahead with the first green-up of grass when temperatures rise and stay in the 70s and 80s, “As soon as it starts growing, we’re going to have grass that’s in reproductive stage and that means it’s low quality. So, the first cutting, if there is a hay cutting, the first cutting is going to be largely stemmy.”

And, he says, the hard grazing this winter has caused problems as well, “The hard grazing all winter has really hurt the ability for that first cutting to produce any yield to speak of.”

Roberts urges caution and restraint when applying nitrogen, which could NOT be applied in mid-March because it was too wet, “Hitting that field with 60 pounds of nitrogen, a lot of that nitrogen is going to go to the crabgrass and the warm season annuals that just volunteer in the field because the cool season grasses probably won’t be able to pick all that nitrogen up.” Roberts recommends applying nitrogen to pastures at a rate of 30 pounds per acre instead.

AUDIO: Interview with Craig Roberts~




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