Tall fescue also tolerates flooded conditions and grows well in soils that are typically too wet for many other forage grasses. Since hay may be the only source of nutrients for livestock during the winter, it is critical to know their nutrient requirements to ensure that the hay you feed will meet that need. The first step is to correctly identify the weed species, then select the most effective herbicide. Inhibitors also help reduce leaf loss during baling and can reduce potential rain damage. It also involves monitoring soil compaction, soil pH, nutrient applications and removal rates, and in some cases, subsoil nutrient status. It also takes a special type of grass to survive such varying conditions. Diseases of stem rust and powdery mildew and some winter annual weed problems are experienced.Small grains. It is best to mix similar forage types so that the feed has a uniform particle size and palatability. are less sensitive to nitrate toxicity than ruminants, there have been reported cases of horses becoming ill from high-nitrate hay. Ryegrass is sensitive to acid soil pH values below 5.5. Other than measuring animal performance, the only way to determine whether your hay is adequate is by laboratory analysis. When choosing a forage species for hay, you must also consider the nutrient requirements of the animals that will likely be target of the hay feeding as well as the cost to establish, maintain and continue hay production. To obtain a subsample, cut, clip or tear the forage at the intended haying height. Norcross, GA. Ball, D.M., C.S. This efficiency is lost when livestock are allowed to congregate near ponds and shade areas. Coastal grass is high-protein forage. For this test, a single drop of the acid reagent is placed on a freshly split plant stem. Finally, certain forage species that may accumulate toxic levels of nitrates should be carefully analyzed to ensure the hay is will not sicken or kill livestock. Unlike prussic acid, nitrate levels do not decline after cutting or baling. Research has shown that stand of 2/3 alfalfa and 1/3 grass can out yield a pure stand of either grass or alfalfa by as much as 40-50%. Bermudagrass is an important warm-season, perennial, sod-forming forage grass grown across the southeastern United States. Oat (Avena sativa), though primarily used for grain and pasture, can also be used as a hay crop. Pictures of the grasses have been added. Purchase a nitrogen-rich liquid fertilizer and spray the plant and the soil, reapplying the fertilizer monthly to encourage growth. If you were to post pictures of the different types used in a yard would we be able to tell? Common may be found growing under almost every conceivable condition throughout the bermudagrass-growing region. Both products, however, can pose significant health risks to those applying the materials. 2002. It is best used for grazing rather than hay production. Do not mix plants from “good” and “bad” parts of the field. Proper soil preparation and good soil contact are imperative. Cutters today are more adjustable and a higher cut leaves some leaf material to support photosynthesis and encourages a more rapid recovery from the harvest. It is a popular choice for late winter/early spring grazing and hay production. Mixtures of arrowleaf clover and annual ryegrass can make an excellent quality hay crop. Although the hemicelluloses go into solution during the acid detergent procedure, the hemicelluloses are not necessarily more digestible than cellulose, because hemicelluloses are more closely related with lignin. Label the container with the field and sample identification and submit it with the laboratory submittal form. Texas AgriLife Extension Service, E-543. The solution is applied immediately after mowing and speeds up the drying process by disrupting the waxy cuticle of the stem and allowing moisture to escape from the harvested forage. If you don’t have a probe available, split the bale open and collect lower stems of individual plants to ensure the highest possible nitrate level is revealed by the analysis. In 2008, Texans harvested approximately 4.4 million acres of hay worth an estimated $1 billion. Gather subsamples from 10 to 15 areas within a given pasture or field (not to exceed 40 acres). Hay normally reaches its peak temperature from 7 to14 days after baling, but temperature may rise for as long as 30 days. Dry matter yield, however, is usually less than well-managed bermudagrass. Annual ryegrass experiences few pest problems other than occasional beet or armyworm outbreak. This increase is called “sweating” or “going through a sweat.” It is mainly caused by microbial activity, though it can include some final plant respiration. The Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory (TVMDL) at Texas A&M University has suggested it is safe to feed forage containing 1 percent nitrate (10,000 ppm on a dry-matter basis) to healthy ruminants. In the case of horses, low quality hay is the primary cause of impaction colic. These bunchgrasses are well adapted to North, Northcentral, and Central Texas because they are cold and drought tolerant. Unfortunately, by the time weeds flower, it is usually too late to apply a herbicide or it takes additional herbicide to achieve control. Unlike most other legume crops used for hay, soybean foliage and pods both provide digestible protein. involves baling forage with 45 to 55 percent moisture content, then putting the bales into airtight storage. Though Old World bluestems respond to good fertility, the grasses are generally persistent with little or no fertilization. Inhibitors also help reduce leaf loss during baling and can reduce potential rain damage. Sometimes a heavy dew, high relative humidity, or rain will cause the windrow to be dry on top but wet underneath. If the reagent turns dark blue within 5 seconds, the forage contains nitrate. Although coolseason annual grasses (small grains, ryegrass), and some legumes are harvested for hay each spring, most hay operations in Texas are based on warm-season perennial grasses. They can really take a toll on your yard and landscape. The value of all cows and calves marketed in 2008 was estimated at approximately $50 billion. Proper sampling and testing are required to ensure the hay is safe to feed. Bermuda grass does very well throughout Texas. The fiber that remains is referred to as ADF and is mostly cellulose and lignin. Recent applications of nitrogen may also decrease the soil pH by creating new acidity. is palatable and has a higher level of nutritive value than bahiagrass and some bermudagrass varieties, and it can retain its nutritive value later into the summer. Forage and forage-based livestock production enterprises are big business in the U.S. and in Texas. When you consider even two trips across the field with a mower, the economic advantage of herbicides is immediately apparent. Again, proper sampling and testing are required to ensure the hay is safe to feed. Buffalograss is best adapted for areas with annual rainfall of 25 inches or less. The recommendations that you receive from the testing laboratory will assume that: The first factor to evaluate is the soil pH. Sampling near ends or bottoms of bales will not give you a representative sample. It is a high-yielding grass; 5 to 7 tons of hay per acre can be produced with good management and ample moisture. Crabgrass should be harvested in the boot to heading stages (normally 18 to 24 inches high); this can allow for at least two harvests a year. The actual levels of crude protein and digestible energy, and other nutritive characteristics of the forage should be established through laboratory analysis so producers can make sound purchasing and feeding decisions. The most commonly used inhibitors are propionic acid (propionates) and ammonia (applied at about 1 percent of wet forage weight). Soil tests can determine phosphorus levels in forage fields; however, a common symptom of low phosphorous is the decline of desired forage species (e.g., bermudagrass) and the invasion of grasses that require less phosphorus (e.g., bahiagrass). The following are some common forage types and species used for hay production. A mower/conditioner will help this hay dry more quickly. Orchard grass (Dactylis spp.) In these systems, fecal deposits are quickly mineralized so the phosphorus can be used immediately. Why should a bale with only 6 percent crude protein sell for the same price as a bale that contains 14 percent crude protein? We also keep hundreds of different individual species and varieties available and are happy to assist you in designing custom blends for your specific project. Forage Grasses Forage grasses include (Crop Group 17) introduced and native grasses for … Since the nutritive value of these crops is generally lower, animals will usually need supplements during the winter or during droughts when fed overly mature forages. Triticale tolerates drought and pests better than wheat. Haylage is typically wrapped in plastic to exclude air. is a cross between wheat and rye. It is essential to know the moisture content of the hay. The species must be adapted for the soil type, rainfall and other environmental conditions of the location where you intend to produce the hay. Create composite samples by placing soil subsamples in a clean plastic bucket or other non-metallic container and thoroughly mixing them. Most laboratories use this method to identify two important aspects of fiber; neutral detergent fiber and acid detergent fiber. Protein breakdown begins at temperatures above 120 degrees F and browning begins at about 140 degrees F. This browning reaction (carmelization) can further increase temperature and take forage nearly to the point of combustion. Harvesting oat hay in the boot stage produces the highest overall forage nutritive value, but delaying harvest until the soft dough stage will produce a greater yield. Because regrowth is usually poor, you should expect only one harvest. Unlike prussic acid, nitrate levels do not decline after cutting or baling. Use a soil auger or soil sampling tube and sample 6 inches deep. Once the hay has dried enough to be safely baled, prussic acid will have volatilized to nontoxic levels. 750. The standard mixes that we have will cover a variety of uses for your needs. Most hay for cow-calf production systems is sold on a per-round bale basis and there are two major problems with this. ‐ Plan Spring/Summer forage grazing program. Red clover should be reserved for well drained soils, as this legume does poorly when planted on wet soils. Be sure you understand your laboratory’s reporting method to ensure you don’t feed toxic levels of nitrate to livestock. Remove the outer ½ inch of the bale surface so the sample will not be contaminated with dust or debris. You should collect one composite sample for every 25 to 30 bales from a given field and cutting. Effects of storage method on losses and quality changes in round bales of ryegrass and alfalfa hay. On square bales, take sample cores from the ends of bales toward the center. (Hay temperatures less than 120 degrees F are considered safe; between 120 degrees F and 140 degrees F, monitor closely; between 140 degrees and 180 degrees F hay is likely to spontaneously combust.). Your email address will not be published. Dallisgrass, however, produces a lower dry matter yield than some bermudagrass varieties and can be difficult to establish because the seed germinate slowly. It is necessary, therefore, to harvest every 30 to 35 days to maintain forage nutritive value. Southern Forages, 4th ed. When using a spade/sharpshooter, dig a V-shaped hole and take a 1-inch slice from the smooth side of the hole; then take a 1- x 1-inch core from the middle of that slice. Ground Covers: The Infamous Perfect Replacement for Grasses in Texas. I’ve been researching and sharing lawn care and gardening info since 2010. Quality in Coastal bermudagrass hay. Phosphorous plays a major role in transferring energy from one part of the plant to another, enabling cell division and plant growth. The low pH inhibits mold and respiration losses that typically occur in high-moisture bales. It can do fairly well in most types of soil, but it does best in coarse, sandy soils. You can determine whether an animal has died from nitrate poisoning by cutting a recently deceased animal; the blood will be dark and then turn red as it reacts with oxygen in the air. Hay production for feeding livestock is a well established agricultural practice. Some of the nitrogen in the CP estimate may actually include non-protein nitrogenous compounds. Small ruminants have somewhat higher metabolic rates and require more nutrition than large animals. By-products of the fermentation process include volatile fatty acids (VFAs) that are absorbed into the ruminant’s bloodstream and metabolized for energy. Drying agents are typically water-based solutions of potassium carbonate (K2CO3) and/or sodium carbonate (Na2CO3) with an appropriate surfactant to help them spread over the harvested forage. In this article, we discuss three tried-and-true Texas grasses to choose for successful lawns: Zoysia, Bermuda and St. Augustine. The best solution for weed control is a thick, robust lawn. Annual ryegrass. Routine analysis requires approximately 1 pint of the composite soil. Then place 1 pint of this mixture in a soil sample bag. ADF is also used to estimate the total digestible nutrient (TDN) value of forage. One way to get consistent readings with a moisture meter is to use an 18-inch length of 2-inch diameter PVC pipe with a threaded cap on one end. Warm-season perennial grass provides good grazing from April through June and again from July through … You should not grind or mix forages that contain more than 2.5 percent nitrate. Coastal / Native Grass mix hay bales for sale. Texas Tough was developed for its drought tolerance, insect resistance and high forage and hay yields. Bermuda comes in several different types that are suitable to the varied weather in the state of Texas. Though often considered a weedy species, it is palatable and can be used for hay production. St Augustine. Laboratory analyses for protein, however, are expressed as crude protein because the analysis is not for protein but for total nitrogen. Round hay bales can be stored outside, but losses will be significant compared to storage under a roof. In this article I want to explore 2 areas: (1) The best varieties of grass for a North Texas lawn, and (2) the typical problems most home owners in North Texas face in having a green, lush lawn. Net wrap. The primary use of perennial ryegrass is for pasturing cattle and sheep cows. Because regrowth is usually poor, you should expect only one harvest. Texas summers are hot, dry, and long. Bermuda. 8) or individual bales (Fig. The productivity of soil across a field can vary significantly due to changes in slope, soil depth, soil moisture retention, and surface and subsoil textures. Even with the best planting and soil management, however, most hay operations will require some form of weed control. Forage containing 0.5 to 1 percent nitrate should not be fed to weakened cattle unless your veterinarian has approved it. Hay with higher nutritive value, as documented by a laboratory, may cost more, but it could prove to be a more economical strategy if it eliminates the need for supplements. The composite soil sample for each area you want to analyze should consist of 10 to 15 subsamples. Drying agents do not affect forage nutritive value. Potassium’s primary role in plants is associated with water transport. High-nitrate bales are particularly hazardous to timid animals because more aggressive cattle tend to eat the leaves and more palatable upper stems first and leave only the lower stems, which have higher concentrations of nitrate. Pack the harvested forage into the PVC pipe, then insert the moisture meter into the hay to obtain a reading. The high quality grasses we selected for these mixtures are late maturing, high yielding varieties with high fiber digestibility. Like pearl millet, though, sorghum-sudan hybrids also have large stems, which require conditioning and extra drying time. An additional 300,000 acres are planted on prepared seedbed. Whether you look at national data or at Texas data, hay production is a valuable enterprise that contributes significantly to our state and national economies. Nitrates and Prussic Acid in Forages. The low pH inhibits mold and respiration losses that typically occur in high-moisture bales. is used primarily for pasture, though it can be used for hay or silage. Ammonia can improve both the crude protein and digestibility levels of the hay by preventing mold growth and keeping the hay at safe temperature levels. Soil testing is the most important tool in forage production. About 45 pounds of K2O are removed per ton of dry matter harvested. Triticale (Triticum secale) is a cross between wheat and rye. Texas Tough Bermuda Grass Seed is used for pasture grazing and hay production in the warm climates and transition climates of the United States. Soil Conditions - I have written extensively in the past about soil conditions in North Texas. Generally, legumes have higher nutritive value than grasses, and cool-season grasses have higher nutritive value than warm-season grasses at the same stage of maturity (Table 3). 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