Tak­ing the man­age­ment of for­age stands to the next level

Southwest Booster - - NEWS - SARAH SOMMERFELD, PAG, RE­GIONAL FOR­AGE SPE­CIAL­IST, SASKATCHEWAN MIN­ISTRY OF AGRI­CUL­TURE Cy­press Re­gional Hos­pi­tal Birth An­nounce­ments

Man­age­ment of for­age stands can of­ten be min­i­mal for a num­ber of rea­sons.

When a de­crease in for­age pro­duc­tion is no­ticed, a man­age­ment change is needed. The ben­e­fits of im­ple­ment­ing good agro­nomic prac­tices on for­age stands can be seen through main­tain­ing for­age yields, stand longevity, and im­proved for­age qual­ity.

Like all other crops, for­ages re­quire nu­tri­ents. The nu­tri­ents needed de­pend on the use of the stand and type of for­age grown.

For ev­ery ton of al­falfa hay that is har­vested about 58 pounds of ni­tro­gen, 14 pounds of phos­pho­rus, 60 pounds of potas­sium and six pounds of sul­phur are re­moved. For ev­ery ton of grass hay that is har­vested about 32 pounds of ni­tro­gen, six pounds of phos­pho­rus, 50 pounds of potas­sium and six pounds of sul­phur are re­moved.

With the ex­cep­tion of the ni­tro­gen com­po­nent for the al­falfa, which is sup­plied by sym­bi­otic fix­a­tion, all other nu­tri­ents for ei­ther for­age type are sup­plied by the soil.

If th­ese nu­tri­ents are not be­ing re­placed, through ei­ther com­mer­cial fer­til­izer or ma­nure, for­age stand pro­duc­tiv­ity will be greatly im­pacted.

LE­MYRE/BLYTH - born to Kalaane Le­myre AND Kevin Blyth of Waldeck, a boy, Jan­uary 16.

RUS­SELL - born to Jen­nie and Dar­ryl Rus­sell of Swift Cur­rent, a girl, Jan­uary 11.

SMITH/BUR­NETT - born to Tana Smith and Shel­don Bur­nett of Swift Cur­rent, a boy, Jan­uary 10.

WIPF - born to Donna and Tom Wipf of Beechy, a girl, Jan­uary 10.

COMECU/LAV­I­GNE - born to Crys­tal Comecu and Brian Lav­i­gne of Swift Cur­rent, a girl, Jan­uary 9.

CHARTRAND - born to San­dra Rea-Lynn Chartrand of Neville, a girl, Jan­uary 9.

Scout­ing for in­sects is of­ten not thought of as a nec­es­sary man­age­ment prac­tice for hay pro­duc­tion.

How­ever, al­falfa wee­vils are be­com­ing a pest of in­creas­ing con­cern for for­age producers. Ma­ture al­falfa wee­vil larva feed on the de­vel­op­ing buds and leaves of al­falfa plants.

Feed­ing dam­age stunts plant growth and can re­sult in fields not f low­er­ing.

Feed­ing dam­age can also in­di­cate a sig­nif­i­cant loss in for­age yield.

Peak feed­ing ac­tiv­ity usu­ally oc­curs from midJune to mid-July.

To de­ter­mine if the al­falfa wee­vil is af­fect­ing your for­age stands, field scout­ing is nec­es­sary. Field scout­ing should be­gin in early June. Fields with a high per­cent­age of al­falfa or pure al­falfa stands will be im­pacted the most.

Har­vest­ing good qual­ity for­age crops is a chal­lenge faced by producers ev­ery grow­ing sea­son. Vari­abil­ity of hay qual­ity can be high, even un­der op­ti­mal con­di­tions.

Plant ma­tu­rity at the time of cut­ting is the sin- gle largest fac­tor in de­ter­min­ing for­age qual­ity.

Mois­ture con­di­tions and nu­tri­ent sta­tus of the soil can af­fect the pro­tein and min­eral con­tent of the for­age.

Feed test­ing can help producers de­cide if for­age re­sources avail­able on farm will meet re­quire­ments of the cow herd.

Un­der­stand­ing the nutritional re­quire­ments of the cow herd, the lim­i­ta­tions of the feed sup­ply on hand and know­ing how to ad­just or sup­ple­ment a ra­tion are crit­i­cal el­e­ments for main­tain­ing a cow herd through the win­ter feed­ing sea­son.

More in­for­ma­tion re­lated to all th­ese topics men­tioned above, and oth­ers, will be dis­cussed at an up­com­ing event in Saskatoon on Jan­uary 30. “The Cut­ting Edge in For­age Man­age­ment: Tak­ing it to the next level” is a for­age man­age­ment sem­i­nar open to all producers and in­dus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives who are in­ter­ested in im­prov­ing their knowl­edge of for­age man­age­ment.

Other topics to be dis­cussed that day in­clude non-bloat for­age legumes, fungi­cides use on an­nual for­age crops, and green­feed har­vest tim­ing.

For more in­for­ma­tion on The Cut­ting Edge in For­age Man­age­ment sem­i­nar, con­tact Sarah Sommerfeld, Re­gional For­age Spe­cial­ist, at 306- 8675559.

To reg­is­ter for the event, con­tact the Saskatchewan For­age Coun­cil at 306- 969- 2666. For more in­for­ma­tion on for­age fer­til­ity, al­falfa wee­vil or for­age qual­ity, con­tact your lo­cal Re­gional For­age Spe­cial­ist or the Agri­cul­ture Knowl­edge Cen­tre at 1-866-4572377.

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