With low soil moisture levels in many areas of the state, early spring often is the best time to irrigate alfalfa. A good goal would be to have at least six feet of soil at field capacity at first cutting. Irrigating now also helps build a reserve water source to encourage deeper rooting.
Prescribed burning CRP or pasture can improve stands, prepare them for interseeding, control weeds and trees, enhance wildlife habitat, and improve forage quality, but it must be done safely. The best time is from mid-April to early May when warm season grasses are just starting to grow.
Are you planting a new hay field this year? Instead of automatically planting pure alfalfa, consider mixing grass into your planting. A grass-alfalfa mixture that includes orchardgrass, smooth brome, festulolium, or other grasses offers several advantages and may be the best choice for your operation.
At a time when crop production costs remain high as crop prices decline and cattle compete for scarce pastures, converting cropland to pasture might make sense. If you’re considering this change, take time to plan and do it right.
What should it cost to rent pasture this year? Preliminary results from the Nebraska Farm Real Estate Market Survey (Tables 1 and 2) released this week list average pasture rental rates by district and quality level as well as rates for cow-calf pairs.
Can you afford to fertilize your pastures with expensive nitrogen? If not, legumes may offer the benefits you’re seeking. Adding clovers, alfalfa, or other legumes to grasslands and meadows can boost profits, reduce nitrogen costs, and make pastures more productive and higher quality. Here are three steps to help ensure your success.