Fall reminders for forage crops
By JERRY LITTLE
Following a list of fall reminders will help you get the forage season off to a good start. First, you’ll have much better success no-tilling alfalfa into tall fescue sod if you begin to kill the fescue in the fall. One reason is that using a trans-located herbicide like Roundup or Touchdown will kill the sod and work on problem perennial weeds such as white clover, dock or plantain. Another reason is that killing tall fescue allows the sod to fully decompose before spring seeding.
Use a burn-down herbicide next spring before planting to kill any winter weeds.
Second, fall is an excellent time to take cores for a soil test, especially if you’re going to seed the ground to clover or alfalfa. Having the soil test done now gives you time to apply recommended fertility and allow any needed lime to start reacting.
Third, review the latest results of Variety Trial reports from the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, which are available from the Boyle County Cooperative Extension Service. After deciding which grass, clover and alfalfa varieties are best for your individual needs, contact your agricultural distributor about the seed you’ll need for next spring. Most dealers can get any variety you want, provided you give them some advance time.
Fourth, fall also is a very good time to control broadleaf weeds such as dandelion and plantain that infest pastures. You can choose from several broadleaf herbicides labeled for pastures. Although these products will damage existing clover, it can easily be reseeded into fields next spring.
Finally, don’t forget to contact your local Extension office to reserve a free copy of the Beef Integrated Resources Management calendar. It has monthly reminders on forage and beef practices to help you with timing your farm year.
For more information on farm management, contact the Boyle County Cooperative Extension Service.
Jerry Little, County Extension Agent for Agriculture/Natural Resources