Seed Supply of Summer Annual Forages May be Short

Seed Supply of Summer Annual Forages May be Short May 22, 2019

Do you plan to use summer annual forages to boost pasture or hay supplies this year? If so, consider that there may be higher than expected demand for seed.

Hay supplies started out this spring at record low amounts. In many states, alfalfa winterkill was much higher than average, which means hay production could be lower than usual this summer. The wet, cold spring has compromised pasture and hay growth and also played havoc with row crop planting throughout the Corn Belt, all of which could lead to increased plantings of summer annual forages.

Thus, seed demand could be higher than expected. If you think you might want or need to plant some summer annual forage grasses this year after wheat or in other areas and have not already obtained your seed, do it soon. Waiting until the last minute could limit your choices.

There was a good seed supply to begin this season, especially when you consider all the choices — sudangrass, sorghum-sudan hybrids, forage sorghum, teff, pearl millet, foxtail millet, and Japanese millet — but that can change quickly.

Summer annual forage grasses can be a great resource and help ensure you have enough feed for your livestock, but first you need the seed to take advantage of their potential.