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Unit 9: Forage


Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Chapter 19 Unit 9: Forage & Food Legumes Unit 9 Objectives: Describe cultural practices of growing forage legumes, peas Identify ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Unit 9: Forage

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Chapter 19

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Unit 9 Objectives
  • Describe cultural practices of growing forage
    legumes, peas
  • Identify criteria for selecting forage legumes
  • Understand climate/temp needs
  • Examine the relationship of maturity stage of
    blooming to protein content of a forage

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Peas
  • Processing or market may determine variety grown
  • Cool-season, best grown in late-summer or early
  • Both bush and vine types available for edible pod
    and regular shelling peas
  • Vine types produce more for longer periods of
  • Require climbing trellis
  • Cooler, moist climate

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Soil
  • Uniformity in fertility, type, slope, drainage
  • Preferred soils silt loams, sandy loams, clay
  • Need good supply of available moisture
  • Peas grown in wet soils do not develop adequate
    root systems
  • Root rot is often problem
  • Can dry out as season gets drier
  • 6.5 pH or higher for maximum yields

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Soil Temperature at Planting
  • Good germination at 39-57º
  • Ensure firm seedbed
  • Level land makes harvesting more efficient
  • Harvesting processing determined by heat units
    and the processor
  • April plantings - 70d to harvest
  • May plantings - 60d to harvest
  • June plantings - 55d to harvest

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Seeding
  • 3-6 seeds/ft of row, 6-8 row spacing
  • 1.5 2 depth
  • 480,000 plants/ac
  • Adequate, not excessive moisture
  • Slight rolling is ok
  • Fertilizer
  • Fertilizer response difficult to predict because
    of various influences
  • N
  • Rates should be dictated by soil testing
  • Seeds should be inoculated at planting to ensure
    adequate supply of N fixing bacteria

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • P
  • Should be banded w/ N, K
  • Required for vigorous early growth
  • K
  • Apply and incorporate before planting, or band
  • Dont drill w/ the seed to prevent injury
  • Weed Control
  • Cultivate as often as necessary for small weeds
  • Strive to eliminate chemical applications
  • Insect Control
  • Observe crop rotation recommendations
  • Crop may be susceptible to armyworms, cutworms,
    grasshoppers, loopers

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Disease Control
  • Best management practices will reduce disease
  • Crop rotation, fertility, soil selection, etc.
  • Nematodes
  • Use seed from reputable sources
  • Blights, mildews, stem rot, root rot, etc.
  • Harvesting, Handling, Storage
  • Timing determined by tenderometer reading,
    weather, soil conditions
  • Yields increase w/ maturity, but decreases
  • Harvested w/ machining process similar to a

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Storage
  • Must be promptly cooled to 32º 90-95 humidity
  • May use a hydrocooler to cool quickly, preferred
  • Pack w/ ice after precooling to maintain
  • Dont keep more than 3 wks under the best storage
    conditions before canning or sale as fresh

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Forage Legumes
  • Environmentally friendly, improve soil tilth,
    reduce pesticide use, reduce soil erosion,
    improve profitability for the producer, excellent
    feed source
  • Species Selection
  • Target use should dictate selection
  • See pg. 479 for legume forage recommendations

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Alfalfa
  • Productive, even during summer, unless extreme
  • Can last 5 yrs under proper mgmt
  • Excellent quality forage
  • Best Management considerations
  • Timely cutting
  • Control insects, diseases, weeds
  • Replacement of nutrients removed by the forage

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Site Selection Soil Fertility
  • Prefers deep, fertile, well-drained soils, pH
  • Mixing w/ orchard grass, etc. may help improve
    and lengthen the stand
  • Requires high fertility for stand establishment
  • Especially P
  • Soil test to determine needs
  • Incorporate lime before seeding
  • Resample soil after 2 yrs to check fertility
  • Help to ensure stand longevity
  • Topdress limestone

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • P establishes vigorous stand, stimulates root
    growth for summer drought resistance, quick
    spring growth, etc.
  • N, K needed in small amounts
  • General needs at seeding
  • 20-30 lbs N
  • 20-60 lbs K
  • Incorporate for best effect
  • Variety Selection
  • Consistent high yields
  • Moderate winter hardy
  • Moderate to high disease resistence

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Establishment
  • May be frost-seeded, broadcast, no-tilled, or
  • Frost-seed Jan or Feb
  • Allow freeze/thaw to work seed into soil
  • No-till or drilled tends to produce a better
  • Plant no deeper than ¼ for quick emergence
  • Firm seedbed
  • Key to establishing a good stand especially in
    dry yrs
  • Broadcast seeding
  • Firm the seedbed w/ a cultipacker or roller
    before after planting

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Companion Crop
  • Can be fall-seeded w/ wheat, oats, etc.
  • Broadcast during the winter
  • Provides protection for the young, new crop
  • Also competes for nutrients, light, etc.
  • Usually expect 1 cutting of hay in late August,
    early Sept when seeded w/ companion crop
  • Seeding Rates Mixtures
  • Seeding alone
  • 15lbs/ac of certified seed

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Mixed seeding w/ grass
  • 10lbs/ac Bromegrass
  • 6lbs/ac Orchard grass
  • 10lbs/ac Tall Fescue
  • 6lbs/ac Reed Canary Grass
  • Decreases potential for heaving in the winter,
    reduces weed competition, lessens damage to soil
    structure from grazing, reduces bloat potential
  • Maintaining Alfalfa Stands
  • Annual fertility program proper harvest
    management will increase stand longevity

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Initial seedings
  • 15 plants/sq ft
  • As plants die, others increase in size to take up
    the space
  • Alfalfa-grass mixtures can maintain productivity
    with only 2 alfalfa plants/sq ft
  • Annual Fertilization
  • May need P, K, Boron, lime? to maintain a
    vigorous stand
  • Apply according to soil tests
  • Single application after 1st cutting, or split
    applications after 1st 3rd cuttings

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Harvest Mgmt
  • Stage of maturity determines hay quality
  • Quality declines rapidly after flowering
  • Should not be grazed/harvested from Sept Nov 1
  • Allows plant to store root reserves for
  • After Nov 1 may take another cutting or graze
    if soil is well drained, or have a grass mixture
  • 3-4 cuttings/yr at bloom stage stand longevity
    6 yrs
  • 3-5 cuttings/yr at bud stage stand longevity
    3-4 yrs

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Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Turn animals in at bud stage, graze to remove
    most top growth in 6-10d
  • Allow 30-35d for regrowth
  • Use poloxalene blocks to prevent bloat
  • Dont turn hungry animals into the pasture
  • Insects
  • Alfalfa weevil
  • Usually damages 1st cutting
  • Scout for following infestations
  • Spray when 25 of tips are skeletonized or cut

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Potato Leafhopper
  • Sucks juices from the plant
  • Yellowing and decreasing plant nutrient content
  • Damage may be significant before yellowing is
  • Scout regularly
  • Weed Control
  • Establish a uniform, dense stand
  • Herbicide control depends on alfalfa growth, weed
    growth, stage of development, etc.

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Diseases
  • Phytophthora Root Rot, bacterial wilt, crown rot
  • Choose resistant varieties
  • Use crop rotation
  • High quality seed
  • Red Clover
  • Short-lived perennial legume
  • Hay, pasture, green manure crop
  • Not as productive as alfalfa in the summer
  • Easily established w/ no-till interseeding, or

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Harvest 3-4x/yr for medium Red Clover
  • Birds-Foot Trefoil
  • Deep-rooted perennial legume
  • Tolerant of lower pHs, moderate to poor
    drainage, marginal fertility, withstand flooding,
  • Somewhat difficult to establish
  • Should be seeded w/ another crop
  • Characteristics
  • Excellent quality forage

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Fair palatability
  • Stores well
  • Nonbloating
  • Well-suited for grazing
  • White Clover
  • Low-growing, short-lived
  • Well suited for pastures
  • Improves forage quality of grass pastures
  • Reduces need for N fertilizer
  • Same seeding options as red clover

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Shallow rooted
  • Doesnt tolerate drought well
  • Ladino clover
  • More productive variety
  • Annual Lespedeza
  • Spring-sown, warm-season legume
  • Hay, pasture, soil erosion control
  • Relatively low yielding
  • High quality nutritive value
  • Excellent for pasture in the late summer

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Can persist well if allowed to reseed
  • Managing Forages
  • Seed Yr Management
  • Establishing good stand critical for production
  • Select proper species
  • Use proper crop rotation to improve productivity,
    reduce disease risk, insect problems
  • Dont reseed alfalfa after an alfalfa stand
  • Produces a toxin that will reduce germination

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Fertilization Liming
  • Essential for economic forage production
  • Soil test before seeding for proper nutrient
  • Test continually to maintain proper nutrient
  • pH above 6.5
  • Lime when pH is gt.2-.3 less than recommended pH
  • Seed Inoculation
  • Inoculate w/ proper N fixing bacteria prior to
    seeding to ensure good nodulation

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Especially important in fields that havent had
  • Purchase proper inoculum for the forage seeded
  • Check expiration date on seed bag, reinoculate if
  • Seed Treatment
  • Highly recommended for control of root rots
  • Helps stand establishment
  • Spring Seedings
  • Plant as soon as area can be prepared after Mar
  • Plants will be well-established by summer

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Weed pressure may be a struggle
  • Seeding w/out a companion crop may allow for 2-3
    cuttings in the seeding yr
  • Seeding w/ a companion crop will increase tonnage
    the first yr, forage quality will be decreased
  • Manage the competition when seeding
  • Use early-maturing, stiff-strawed varieties
  • Sow at 1.5-2.0 bu/ac
  • Remove small grains early as silage or pasture
  • Dont apply additional N to the companion crop

Unit 9 Forage Food Legumes
  • Late Summer Seedings
  • Excellent time for stand establishment if
    moisture is sufficient
  • Time to establish before winter
  • August is preferred time
  • Dont use a companion crop
  • Seeding Basics
  • Smooth, firm, weed-free seedbeds
  • Conserve moisture
  • Seeding depth ¼ - ½
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