CropWatch, Jan. 8, 2010: Plan Forage Production for Timely and Accurate Activities

CropWatch, Jan. 8, 2010: Plan Forage Production for Timely and Accurate Activities

January 8, 2010

Starter Schedule for Timely Forage Activities for 2010

With the start of a new year, most of us have an abundance of new calendars. Put one to good use by planning and noting next season's forage activites so work can be completed on a timely basis.

Following are a few suggestions for actions to include on your calendar. I’m sure you can think of many other items to add to your own calendar. Make those notes now, and in twelve months you will smile, knowing you got all your forage work done correctly and on time.

Bruce Anderson
Extension Forage Specialist

January – February

  • Order alfalfa and other forage seeds to make sure you get what you want.


  • Pull any soil samples you didn’t get last fall.
  • Plant oats at your earliest opportunity.


  • Apply lime, phosphorus or other fertilizers.
  • In mid-April, plant alfalfa before planting corn.
  • Fertilize cool-season grass pastures by mid-April.


  • Spray thistles early in the month.
  • Check alfalfa so once buds just start to form you can be ready for an early first cutting that brings a premium price.
  • In late May, fertilize warm-season grass pastures and shortly thereafter, plant your summer annuals.


  • In early August plant turnips or oats for late-fall, early-winter grazing.

October - December

  • Sample and test all harvested forages so you can plan and feed animals during winter to meet their needs at the lowest cost.

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