An excellent spring has set us up for a good growing season ahead. With many farmers being able to get across most or all of their land it doesn’t look as if there will be many prevented plant acres in the area. However, prevented plant acres aren’t the only time cover crops are a good option.
Cover crops are also an excellent option on your small grain acres to provide cover throughout the fall and winter, fight the late flush of weeds, as well as work to build the soil health on those acres. Cover crops planted on wheat stubble in early fall can also be an excellent cattle grazing option later in the fall.
When choosing a cover crop you can look for different characteristics in the mix. Mixes can be used for nitrogen scavenging, breaking up compacted ground, erosion protection, nitrogen fixing or for late season grazing.
Two mix options we have available are our soil building mix and mid-late season grazing mix. The soil building mix is 58% forage barley, 15% crimson clover, 15% lentils, 8% radish and 4% turnip. This mix should be planted at 26 lbs/acre and costs $0.86/lb or $22.36/acre. The mid-late season grazing mix is 60% forage oats, 20% grazing sudan, 12% lentils, 4% forage turnip and 4% radish. This mix should be planted at 40 lbs/acre and costs $0.55/lb or $22.00/acre. Both are excellent options to build soil health, protect against erosion and scavenge for nitrogen. Custom blends are also available if you are looking for a different species in the mix or looking to reduce costs. Two things to remember is that certain chemicals may have carryover to some of these cover crop species, and that there may be cost sharing opportunities for cover crops through your local FSA office.
Forage crop options available for grazing and haying also include alfalfa, German hay millet, sorghum sudangrass, forage sorghum and clover. These as well as many other forage species, CRP grass mixes, pasture grass mixes and lawn grass mixes are available.
This year we put in a 60/40 pea/oat mix in our cover crop plot 3 miles North of Embden, we will be taking a cutting of peas/oats early June and look to seed soybeans on half of the plot to look at double cropping options and a full season cover crop mix on the other half to look at full season cover cropping for hay as well as grazing options. Stop by and take a look if you get a chance!
Lastly, creep feed is in and the price has been set at $219/ton. Our seed tender this year will also be available for delivery, please call to inquire about possible delivery and delivery charges. Contact Dylan Nelson with any questions about creep feed, cover crops, forage crops, net wrap or twine at 701-633-5438, 701-412-8569 or Dylan@embdengrain.com.
With spring and summer just around the corner it's an excellent time to start thinking about updating your alfalfa and locking in your costs on net wrap and twine for the year. Contact Embden Grain for all your alfalfa, cover crop, net wrap, twine and feed needs!