July 2017 Late Forage

Another season and another year of extremes. It started raining in early May and has not let up much. As you go from New England to western New York, and continue on into Michigan, Wisconsin and the edge of Minnesota, it just gets wetter and wetter. Well drained soils have faired ok, but anything less than that has more ducks than crops in it. Corn is still waiting to be planted and not all the haycrop has been harvested (mostly firewood digestibility now). The cold nights of May continued into June. I didn’t start planting my sorghum trials until after June 12. (For the climate change crowd, summertime maximum temperatures have been declining in from Minnesota to Maine for the past 80 years). When temperatures drop below 50, even corn will reduce growth for the next couple of days, based on research at the University of Guelph.

For unplanted ground we will cover multiple options. Are these perfect crops? NO! Don’t expect 100% yields from 50% of the season. These crops are not magic. They can give you highly digestible forage in the much abbreviated growing season.


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